Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke plans to visit the Oklahoma City bombing memorial on Monday to highlight the dangers of domestic terrorism and white supremacy.
O’Rourke returned to the campaign trail last week, promising to highlight the racial divisions in the country, blaming President Donald Trump for stoking racial terrorism in the country like the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.
The former congressman criticized the president during a campaign event at a Tulsa, Oklahoma brewery on Sunday.
O’Rourke condemned, “that racism that has always existed and flowed through the history of this country” and blamed Trump for allowing it to “do so in the open.”
He said that Trump’s detainment of illegal immigrants and migrants crossing the border was similar to that of Japanese relocation camps during World War II.
“We all like to think that if I was alive in that time … I would have stood up, I would have been counted and I would have stopped it,” he said.
The 1993 bombing of a government building in Oklahoma City was carried out by Timothy McVeigh, an extremist anti-government militant.
O’Rourke’s attempt to politicize the bombing to smear Republicans is not uncommon.
Former president Bill Clinton also used the Oklahoma City bombing to blame Republicans and conservative media for stoking anti-government violence.
“We hear so many loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to try to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other,” Clinton said in 1995. “They spread hate. They leave the impression that, by their very words, that violence is acceptable.”
O’Rourke also plans to visit the site of Black Wall Street on Monday in Tulsa, Oklahoma to highlight the destructive riot in the 1920s.
“It is not enough, ladies and gentlemen, not to be racist in this country, we have to be anti-racist in this country,” he said in Tulsa.
UPDATE: After his visit, O’Rourke posted the following message on Twitter.
White nationalism and domestic terrorism are not a relic of the past, they still threaten us today—in El Paso and in communities across America. Following Oklahoma City’s perseverance, we will overcome hate everywhere it lives, including in the White House. pic.twitter.com/la2sE0wcL6
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 19, 2019