During her confirmation hearing for associate attorney general, Vanita Gupta faced a withering line of questioning from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) that exposed the nominee for what Cotton called “preposterous” accusations she made about the racial bias of Americans.
Nine months ago, when Gupta appeared before the same committee, she was asked if she believed that all Americans are racist. She replied at the time, “Yes, I think we all have implicit biases and racial biases. Yes, I do.” Cotton recited that answer before asking, “Ms. Gupta, I ask you, against which races do you harbor racial bias?”
After Gupta struggled to answer his question, Cotton pressed further.
“You also said in response to a question about institutional racism, ‘There is not an institution in this country that isn’t suffering from institutional racism.’ There is not an institution in this country,” Cotton recited before asking, “Ms. Gupta, does the Biden White House suffer from institutional racism?”
Gupta again did not directly answer the senator’s question. Cotton pointed that out before concluding that he was not accusing her of racism or bias, but rather pointing out the danger in her previous remarks.
“I’ll just say that I don’t think you harbor racial bias towards any racial group or that you believe the Biden White House suffers from institutional racism, but when you throw around allegations that every single American suffers from racial bias and every single institution suffers from institutional racism, you open yourself up to these kinds of questions by condemning your fellow Americans without individualized evidence of their beliefs, their words, or their deeds,” Cotton said. “I think these statements were beyond the pale. I don’t think really anybody truly believes them, nor should they be believed because they are so preposterous.”
Watch the full exchange here (relevant portion begins at 2:10):