Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron says he doesn’t think systemic racism is a problem in the U.S., and accused President Joe Biden of aggravating racial tensions in the wake of the Derek Chauvin verdict.
Cameron was responding to Biden’s statement that systemic racism is a “stain on the soul” of the country—comments made shortly after a Minnesota jury found Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd during an arrest last year.
Cameron, in a Sunday appearance on Fox News, accused Biden of throwing fuel on the fire.
“I don’t believe this country is systemically racist. What I believe is this country has always tried from the very beginning to become a more perfect union. And certainly, we’ve had our challenges throughout this nation’s history, and there’s no hiding from that,” Cameron said.
Elected in 2019, Cameron is Kentucky’s first Black attorney general and the first Republican to hold the office since the 1940s.
Cameron oversaw the investigation into Breonna Taylor’s death, a Black Louisvillian killed during a police raid last year, but didn’t recommend charging officers for their role in her death.
Instead, he recommended that a grand jury charge one of the officers involved for wantonly endangering Taylor’s neighbors. He said officers who killed Taylor were justified in their use of force.
Cameron’s handling of the case has sparked criticism from protesters and others who have been calling for the officers involved to be charged with murder.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, has said she doesn’t have faith in Cameron’s investigation and called for an independent prosecutor to reopen the case.
After the Chauvin verdict, Palmer Tweeted that “justice has been served” in the Floyd case, but other victims of police violence are still waiting.
“This isn’t over,” Palmer wrote.
Biden said last week that Floyd’s killing “ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism,” but called the Chauvin verdict a “step forward.”
Cameron called Biden’s comments “disheartening.”
“When you have these caustic and hyperbolic terms that cast everything in racism, it does nothing for continuing a fruitful and productive conversation about the big issues in our country,” Cameron said on Sunday.
Cameron said Republicans need to provide an “alternative” for how the country should look during the Biden administration. He said he is excited that South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott, who is also Black, will provide the party’s response to Biden’s national address this week.