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Pompeo sparks outrage with tweet rebuking 'multiculturalism'

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said tweet exposes way outgoing secretary of state views issue of race in America
Pompeo has frequently commented on culture in America, sparking criticism after repeatedly going after the New York Times' 1619 project.
Pompeo has frequently commented on culture in America, sparking criticism after repeatedly going after the New York Times' 1619 project (AFP)
By in
Washington

During his last full day in office, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has sparked outrage by tweeting that multiculturalism is not "who America is", prompting criticism from lawmakers and political advocacy groups in Washington.

"Woke-ism, multiculturalism, all the -isms — they're not who America is. They distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about. Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker," Pompeo said in a tweet.

The United States, according to the latest census data, is 76 percent White, while having a 13 percent Black population and an 18 percent Hispanic population.

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Estimates from the bureau have found that one in four Americans identify with a race or ethnicity other than White. The estimates suggest that the 2020 census will reveal a large decline in the percentage of White Americans in the country.

"This attack on multiculturalism is a pure distillation of the Trump administration's exclusionary, bigoted policies at home and abroad. Good riddance to Pompeo and his disastrous tenure as Secretary," J Street, a liberal Jewish group, said on Twitter.

California Congressman Ted Lieu blasted Pompeo for his remarks, which he said was hypocritical considering the secretary himself boasts about his Italian heritage.

"Dear @SecPompeo: You described your dad as a proud Italian-American. You attended the Sons of Italy’s 2019 Ambassadors Ball. You practice multiculturalism yourself," Lieu said.

"So either you are a hypocrite, or you believe you are stoking divisions by being multicultural."

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said the tweet could be somewhat appreciated, saying that it admits out loud the way that Pompeo has long viewed the issue of race in America.

"It's stunning to hear him say it, but at least he's not hiding it," Murphy tweeted.

Pompeo has frequently commented on culture in America, sparking criticism after repeatedly going after the New York Times' 1619 project, which documented the country's history of slavery.

The tweet also comes just one day before Kamala Harris, the first Black and Indian American to become vice president, will be inaugurated into office.

"If you’re the worst Secretary of State in history, what do you do on your last day? Attack *multiculturalism*. Nothing more diplomatic than a man who hates other cultures," said Assal Rad, a senior researcher at the National Iranian American Council.