Vivek Ramaswamy says racism is often 'manufactured,' calls on nation to 'restore colorblind equality'

Vivek Ramaswamy reacts after a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX News Channel Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Milwaukee.
Vivek Ramaswamy at a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX News.Morry Gash/AP
  • Vivek Ramaswamy has recently made a series of controversial comments about race.

  • He said white supremacy is rare, racism is "manufactured," and compared Ayanna Pressley to the KKK.

  • His comments come after a racially-motivated gunman killed three Black people in Florida.

Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy seems to be doing his best to bring a fresh wave of racial controversy to the GOP race.

On the heels of comparing a Black Member of Congress to a Klu Klux Klan grand wizard, Ramaswamy said he believes racism in America is "manufactured in a way that creates more racism in this country."

"Is there existing racism in the United States? Of course, there is. But those last burning embers of racism — the last thing I want to do is throw kerosene on it," Ramaswamy said on Sunday's "Meet the Press" on NBC News. "Yet that's exactly what I believe the modern culture is doing by creating race-based quota systems that deny people access to goods or services based on the color of their skin."

The comments come a day after a hate crime shooting in Jacksonville, Florida that left three Black people dead at the hands of a white gunman who authorities said specifically targeted Black people. Ramaswamy's remarks also came a day after the 60th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington for racial equality.

NBC host Chuck Todd asked about the Jacksonville shooting and how Ramaswamy would address racially motivated violence as president. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have said domestic violent extremism, including racially motivated violent extremism, is "one of the most persistent threats in the United States today."

"I think part of the problem is we have obsessed so much over racial and other genetic differences that we have forgotten all of the ways we're really the same as a country," Ramaswamy said. He later added, "I think the right answer is actually to restore colorblind equality, colorblind meritocracy, embrace what unites us across our diversity, instead of celebrating our skin deep, diverse attributes."

At a campaign stop in Iowa on Friday, Ramaswamy suggested white supremacy is as realistic as unicorns.

"I'm sure the boogeyman white supremacists exist somewhere in America. I have just never met him. Never seen one. Never met one in my life, right? Maybe I will meet a — maybe I will meet a unicorn sooner. And maybe those exist too," Ramaswamy said, per CNN.

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