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Joe Biden warns of the "the domestic terrorism of white supremacy"

Joe Biden giving a speech, making a dramatic gesture, with the crowd behind him.
Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

In a speech Sunday morning at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, Joe Biden warned about the return of "the domestic terrorism of white supremacy."

  • Four black girls were killed there 56 years ago today, in a bombing tied to the Ku Klux Klan.

Excerpts from Biden's remarks, as prepared for delivery:

"The domestic terrorism of white supremacy has been the antagonist of our highest ideals from before our founding — lynch mobs, arsonists, bomb makers and lone gunmen."

"And as we all now realize, this violence does not live in the past. The same poisonous ideology that lit the fuse at 16th Street pulled the trigger in Mother Emanuel [in Charleston], unleashed the anti-Semitic massacre in Pittsburgh and Poway [California], and saw a white supremacist gun down innocent Latino immigrants in an El Paso parking lot with military-grade weapons."

"We have not relegated racism and white supremacy to the pages of history."

"As Dr. King eulogized those girls, perhaps not even he could have imagined the day, nearly 50 years later, when this nation’s first black president would award them the Congressional Gold Medal."

"[C]hange comes — sometimes slowly, sometimes all at once."