Jen Psaki, Do Better Next Time and Every Time

Your responses to white media on the right aren’t good enough

Sam McKenzie Jr.
3 min readFeb 6, 2021
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty/Fair Use

Over the next four years, the Biden administration will repeatedly demonstrate the active role white liberals have in the oppression of Black people and people of color. On Friday, February 5, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did a weak-ass job responding to white media on the right.

Let’s look at these questions and answers:

Q: And then, just further on that: There was — Jake Sullivan mentioned the focus on domestic terrorism yesterday, of this administration. I think a lot of people want to know: How does this administration define the term “domestic terrorist”?

MS. PSAKI: In what way?

Q: Well, does that include Antifa, specifically? What — how do you set those parameters for domestic terrorists, especially as we see, you know, a lot of focus on the January 6? Maybe not as much focus on some of the extremism and violence in the North- — the Northwest.

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’ve answered a version of this question a couple times before, but I know everybody is not in the briefing room every day.

The reason we have the review — which is not a political review, but is a review done by our national security team, something tasked — again, to take a review of domestic violent extremism, it will cover incidents across the board. When they have concluded that review, I’m sure they’ll have more to say on it.

In the second sentence of her first question, the reporter says, “I think a lot of people want to know…” And that already has me hot. Who are these people? Remember when Trump used to say, “people are saying…” without naming any specific people? That’s what we have here. It’s bullshit for white political purposes.

Here we have a long list of white supremacist terrorists on the right, and this reporter asks about one name — Antifa. In Sept, Politico reported on a DHS draft that said white supremacists are the greatest terror threat. And then, in October 2020, at a town hall in Miami, Biden said the same thing.

And these are facts about white supremacists on the right. There are no alternative facts. There’s nothing to balance on both sides.

So, while Jen Psaki talks about a review of domestic violent extremism that will cover incidents across the board, she should’ve stated the facts we know about white domestic terrorism. Why is Jen Psaki acting like she doesn’t know?

I’m talking about facts reported last year, less than six months ago. And those facts go way back because there is no terrorism like white terrorism, period. Historically and currently, there is no terrorism like white terrorism.

As James Baldwin said about whites, Jen Psaki is trapped in a history she does not understand. As Ta-Nehisi Coates said about white reporters and pundits, Jen Psaki will not name what implicates her.

If Jen Psaki can’t talk about facts because she doesn’t want to get ahead of the review, then she needs to get the fuck off the platform. The stakes are too high. I bet Symone Sanders would’ve given the facts on this subject.

Jen Psaki should’ve responded to the question with facts and force. Instead, she allowed that reporter to create a false equivalency, and it is unacceptable. You saw House Republicans do the same thing for Marjorie Taylor Greene. And Trump’s impeachment lawyers are already saying they plan to do more of this at his impeachment trial.

This is what whites do. This is what whites allow. Please read “The Condemnation of Blackness” by Khalil G. Muhammad. Whites use whatever they consider Black as a cover, as a distraction, as a decoy for white criminality.

Whites have been making these types of false equivalencies as far back as when they said the British treated them like enslaved Black people. These false equivalencies by whites are violent. These false equivalencies by whites are the pretext for white wars, which will harm Black people.

Psaki should’ve shut it down with the kind of specificity that would’ve shamed the shameless reporter. I don’t claim to know how Psaki has responded to these questions in the past. But I know she needs to do better next time and every time.