The white South Carolina senator cited the elections of former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris when asked during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” if there is systemic racism in policing and other institutions in the U.S.
“No, not in my opinion,” Graham said. “We just elected a two-term African American president. The vice president is of African-American-Indian descent. So our systems are not racist. America is not a racist country. Within every society, you have bad actors.”
Lindsey Graham says systemic racism isn't an issue in America because Barack Obama and Kamala Harris were elected pic.twitter.com/PqRdoeWmHW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 25, 2021
Data demonstrates the existence and effects of systemic racism across scores of laws and institutions in the United States. Racial disparities are ingrained in almost every component of American society, including employment, wealth, education, home ownership, healthcare and incarceration. The elections of Obama and Harris do not change this, though they were a step forward in addressing the historically low representation of Black Americans in political leadership.
Graham also criticized President Joe Biden’s comments about racism last week. After Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd, Biden said racism in America issue needed to be confronted “head on.”
Graham’s faulty logic was panned by critics, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who said on CNN that Graham was trying to “tell us that the sky is not blue.”
“It’s as if saying we don’t have poverty issues in this country because we have millionaires and billionaires. I really don’t know what point he was trying to make with that statement,” Omar said. “It’s obvious we have a long way to go in this country if we have lawmakers who are refusing to acknowledge the fact that there is institutionalized racism that is embedded within our systems that we need to actively work in rooting out.”
See more of the reactions below.
“Antisemitism isn’t an issue in America because my lawyer and doctor are Jewish!” https://t.co/h8YM3vGzGw
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) April 25, 2021
The most common trait of ignorant racists is that they're always ignorant that they're being racist. https://t.co/cUtoBrHtZS
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) April 25, 2021
Very interesting. Next up, a few words from Lindsey Graham on how women might manage menstrual cramps. https://t.co/X6GZtdKac2
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) April 25, 2021
I'm betting his best friend is Black, too https://t.co/JZC5zyBjVG
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) April 25, 2021
FOOTNOTE: Lindsey Graham did everything in his power, shy of knocking over his mint julep, to stop both Barack Obama and Kamala Harris from being elected. https://t.co/qJU0xwQmT1
— Mr. Newberger (@jeremynewberger) April 25, 2021
Lindsey Graham doesn’t believe systemic racism exists, because that’s what racists believe. Have a nice Sunday.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) April 25, 2021
That’s like saying people aren’t poor because Bill Gates exists. https://t.co/KwsC9qXpJz
— Keith Edwards (@keithedwards) April 25, 2021
Lindsey Graham says America can’t be racist because they elected an African American president and vice president. What about the 74 million voters who voted for the racist-in-chief? https://t.co/2sr3CFI60o
— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@duty2warn) April 25, 2021
This morning, Lindsey Graham said he doesn’t believe systemic racism exists in America which isn’t at all surprising considering he darkened pictures of his black opponent now DNC Chair Jamie Harrison to scare off voters. A racist would never see racism because they are racism.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) April 25, 2021
Senator Lindsey Graham, I also didn't believe that systemic racism existed when I was a Republican. Still, everything I've learned in the last three years has shown me systemic racism exists. @LindseyGrahamSC, I'm open to discussing with you what I've learned.
— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) April 25, 2021
Yes racism exists Lindsey Graham. And you have done little to stop it.
— Chris Hahn (@ChristopherHahn) April 25, 2021
Lindsey Graham said that systemic racism doesn't exist, and I think it's really sad that he doesn't believe in himself.
— Steve Hofstetter (@SteveHofstetter) April 25, 2021 RELATED… Lindsey Graham Says There's 'No' Systemic Racism In U.S., Citing Kamala Harris As VP Republicans Still Suggesting 2020 Election Was Stolen 'Pathetic Ghoul': Lindsey Graham Slammed For Assault Rifle Photo-Op Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost