Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called a lid Sunday, announcing he would not emerge from the solitude of his Delaware estate until Thursday’s final presidential debate.
In his absence, reports about the contents of his son’s recently unearthed reported computer hard drive continue to churn out headlines.
Those reports also link Biden himself to his son’s reported overseas business dealings by way of emails that were found by a Delaware computer repairman.
While the email story is currently sucking all of the air out of the room, it’s important to also remember Biden’s long history of making derogatory remarks about minorities, and more specifically, black Americans.
It only feels appropriate, seeing as the Nov. 3 election is now less than two weeks away, and Biden has portrayed himself as leading some sort of modern civil rights movement amid a year in which the Black Lives Matter movement has dominated much of the conversation.
The 47-year career politician has produced some puzzling moments and uttered some bizarre statements about minority Americans throughout the years, which people should remember as they prepare to head to the polls.
Let’s take a few minutes to remember some of those statements, while Biden is away from the campaign and at home.
1. Biden called integrated schools “racial jungles.”
In 1977, Biden expressed his displeasure with some policies regarding racial desegregation in education.
According to Business Insider, the former vice president expressed concern that busing and non-“orderly” integration would lead his children to grow up in an unstable environment, following the end of the Jim Crow laws.
“Unless we do something about this, my children are going to grow up in a jungle, the jungle being a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point. We have got to make some move on this,” Biden said.
2. Biden lied about marching for civil rights and about growing up in a black church.
Biden has said more than once this past year that he marched for civil rights and was “raised in the black church.”
“I have a lot of black support because that’s where I come from. I was raised in the black church, politically, not a joke,” Biden said earlier this year.
“That’s what got me involved in politics to begin with: The Civil Rights movement,” he also said.
But Biden’s own words contradict the statement about marching for civil rights.
In his autobiography, Twitter activist Shaun King reported, Biden years later summarized his involvement with the civil rights movement with only one paragraph:
“I worked there [a swimming pool] back in the early sixties, when freedom rides, sit-ins, and Bull Connor’s dogs and fire hoses were starting to get people’s attention. Like everybody in America in those years, I was getting dramatic lessons about segregation and civil rights from newspapers and television.”
Additionally, members of the black church where Biden claims he was “raised” dispute his account of attending their church, Wilmington’s Union Baptist.
Biden reportedly did not visit the church until he had political ambitions as an adult.
3. Biden voted to shield some segregated schools with tax-exempt status and opposed a “homogeneous society.”
In June, the Washington Free Beacon reported, “Biden was among 54 senators who voted in 1979 to keep the ‘Dornan rider’ — a provision that barred the IRS from revoking the tax-exempt status of segregated private schools, sometimes called ‘white flight academies,’ that had appeared in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling integrating public schools.”
Biden said during the era of racial integration, “There are those of we social planners who think somehow that if we just subrogate man’s individual characteristics and traits by making sure that a presently heterogeneous society becomes a totally homogeneous society, that somehow we’re going to solve our social ills.”
Biden had his feet held to the fire over his stance on so-called “white flight academies” by New York magazine last year, well before he clinched his party’s nomination this summer.
4. Biden praised notorious segregationist former Alabama Gov. George Wallace.
National Review reported in July that Biden “repeatedly praised Wallace and other segregationists” during his early tenure as a senator representing Delaware.
The outlet noted, “It was Biden who bragged that in 1973 Wallace considered him ‘one of the outstanding young politicians of America.’ It was Biden who wrote in 1975 that the ‘Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace.’ It was Biden who in 1981 told a black witness in the Senate that ‘sometimes even George Wallace is right.’”
Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley reminded CNN of that praise just a few weeks ago, much to the chagrin of host John Berman:
5. Biden called then-candidate Barack Obama a “clean” and “nice-looking” black man.
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man,” Biden told The New York Observer in 2007.
6. Biden equated being poor to being non-white.
While on the stump in 2019, Biden made the awkward statement that poor children and non-white children are one and the same.
In a conversation in Iowa about education, according to The New York Times, Biden said, “We should challenge students in these schools.”
“We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”
“Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids,” said Joe Biden.pic.twitter.com/YhDSMnoRce
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) October 21, 2020
7. Biden asked a black reporter if he is a “junkie.”
In an August interview with CBS News reporter Errol Barnett, who is black, Biden was asked whether he’d taken a cognitive test.
Biden responded by asking Barnett if he was “taking cocaine or not?”
A dazzled Biden concluded, “Are you a junkie?”
BIDEN: “No, I haven’t taken a [cognitive] test. Why the hell would I take a test? C’mon man. That’s like saying you, before you got in this program, if you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not, what do you think huh? Are you a junkie?”pic.twitter.com/f6UMPJq381
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) October 20, 2020
8. Biden equated donuts and convenience stores with Indian-Americans.
During a conversation with C-SPAN in 2006, Biden said, “I’ve had a great relationship [with the Indian-American community]. In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”
“I’m not joking,” Biden added.
9. Biden said that Hispanics, unlike black Americans, are “diverse.”
NPR reported that in August, Biden told a reporter, “Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.”
Biden later sought to clarify the comment.
10. “You ain’t black.”
In an interview in May with black radio host Charlamagne tha God on “The Breakfast Club,” Biden became displeased when the host demanded accountability from him and other Democrats for the black community.
“You’ve got more questions?” Biden said.
He added, “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
.@JoeBiden: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” @cthagod: “It don’t have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact — I want something for my community.” @breakfastclubam pic.twitter.com/endvWnOIV2
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) May 22, 2020
These examples of Biden’s propensity for being racially inharmonious while portraying himself as a champion for minority Americans only scratch the surface of his racially insensitive past — and present.
But they should be remembered, even as the presidential race pivots in other directions down the final stretch.
Above all else, Biden’s entire campaign seems to be built on a foundation of portraying President Donald Trump as a racist.
Biden, throughout his very, very long career in Washington, never delivered record minority unemployment, which is something Trump can boast.
Biden’s only real legacy for minority Americans is a history of racially charged comments and a 1994 crime bill that disproportionately incarcerated tens of thousands of black men and women.
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