Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday pandered to an increasingly mainstreamed brand of white nationalism and railed against the nation’s multicultural underpinnings by attacking “all the -isms” which he declared on his final full day as the nation’s top diplomat “make us weaker.”
“Woke-ism, multiculturalism, all the -isms — they’re not who America is,” Pompeo a self-described “proud” descendant of Italian immigrants, tweeted on Tuesday morning. “They distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about. Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker.”
The opposition to “all the -isms,” made by a Cabinet official and posted on a government account meant to represent the position of the United States abroad, could be interpreted as giving cover to the racist ideologies of the white supremacist groups who were part of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.
The outgoing State Department official was met with swift backlash, as lawmakers and experts condemned the comments, which come just a day before Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, a multiracial woman of color, is inaugurated.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) noted that he was at least appreciative that Pompeo had laid bare and was “not hiding” his belief in a claim that those who do not share European ancestry are effectively not American.
I guess I appreciate him just saying it out loud. That America's multiculturalism is a weakness. That if you're not white with European ancestry, you're not American. It's stunning to hear him say it, but at least he's not hiding it. https://t.co/IdoDuKhaMX
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 19, 2021
Ah yes, the message of every fundamentalist extremist everywhere: by sweeping away these corrupt modern accretions we can return to the glorious founding. https://t.co/rBlFLTlbdI
— Matt Duss (@mattduss) January 19, 2021
Imagine saying multiculturalism isn't who America is and being proud of that statement. Also, imagine complaining about a bunch of "-isms" and not mentioning say racism or sexism but mentioning "woke-ism." These aren't serious people, and they should not be treated as such. https://t.co/Nelvd0r2rC
— Hakeem Jefferson (@hakeemjefferson) January 19, 2021
Siri, show me racism and fascism in one tweet https://t.co/MN7XdWpHPV
— Jennifer Taub (@jentaub) January 19, 2021
This is what a person about to commit genocide would say. https://t.co/21hFgJVxM2
— Eric Garcia (@EricG1247) January 19, 2021
Multiculturalism is precisely who America is. Your last name is Italian. https://t.co/VWawOtd00C
— Brendan Keefe (@BrendanKeefe) January 19, 2021
He could've just gone with "white power" and saved so many characters. https://t.co/B6iycxjwuA
— Max Steele (@maxasteele) January 19, 2021