Members of a Delaware church are disputing a claim from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that he was “raised in the black church,” and in particular, their house of worship.
Biden, who is known for telling whoppers, misremembering important details, plagiarizing political language and appearing to embellish his political and street credentials, made a claim in Iowa early this year that his entire “political identity” was molded by relationships with minorities from his youth during the civil rights movement.
“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 in Des Moines in January, The Des Moines Register reported.
“When I got into politics, I was the only white guy working on the east side, in the projects, because these were the guys I grew up with. These were the guys I worked with,” Biden also said at the event, according to The Washington Examiner.
“People ask why do I have such overwhelming support from the African American community, because that’s what I’m part from … That’s where my political identity comes from. It’s the single most consistent political constituency I’ve ever had.”
“That’s what got me involved in politics to begin with: The Civil Rights movement,” he said.
Biden had made an almost identical claim in June of 2019, according to Julia Terruso with The Philadelphia Inquirer.
He then ran through his record on civil rights issues, including with the Obama admin. “My president gets much too little credit for all that he did. He was one of the great presidents of the United States of America and I’m tried of hearing about what he didn’t do.”
— Julia Terruso (@JuliaTerruso) June 28, 2019
Biden is correct on his historical support from black voters.
Support from black voters revived Biden’s dead-in-the-water candidacy in February in the South Carolina primary, just a week before he knocked Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont out of the primary on Super Tuesday.
But did Biden actively support the civil rights movement as a youth?
Not according to the record.
Did Biden really get his start in a black church in the 1960s, as he asserted twice last year?
Not according to two of that church’s members.
The Washington Free Beacon identified the church as the Union Baptist Church in Wilmington, where Biden also said in Des Moines, “We would go sit in Rev. Herring’s church, sit there before we’d go out, and try to change things when I was a kid in college and in high school.”
Biden’s Herring reference was to Rev. Otis Herring, who ministered the church for decades, but died in 1996.
While Herring as long since passed away, other members of the Union Baptist Church are alive and well, and they remember Biden’s connection to their church very differently than he does.
A woman named Phyllis Drummond attended the church for nearly four decades, and told The Beacon that while she was not part of the church during the civil rights movement, she doesn’t think Biden was either.
“No. Not at our building. I think he was probably in Claymont, [Del.,] [or] in Pennsylvania then,” she told the outlet.
Another church member named Juanita Matthew also told the outlet she is not aware of Biden being affiliated with her church during the time when he said he was “raised” there.
Matthew disclosed that Biden did have a connection to the church, and did have a relationship with Herring, but that the connection was established well after Biden was already an adult — when Biden’s political ambitions were likely brewing.
(Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972 when he was only 29 years old.)
The Free Beacon reported Matthew said Biden became “a great friend of the church and the pastor” after the death of Biden’s wife and daughter in 1972, after he was elected to the Senate.
While it appears Biden did have a relationship to the Union Baptist Church, there is no evidence that it came when the Democrat was being raised.
Biden, born in 1942, turned 18 in the fall of 1960.
Rev. Herring did not take the reins of the church until 1962, when Biden would have been 19 or 20.
Unless the rules for rearing children and teenagers in the early 1960s have suddenly been rewritten, a person is and always was pretty well raised by the age of 20, minus the modern exception for staying on mom and dad’s insurance plan until age 26, as is mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
But an unlikely person has further discredited Biden’s claims about him being raised in a black church.
Twitter activist Shaun King, a fervent leftist, wrote earlier this year that claims about the Delaware church and Biden’s broader involvement in the civil rights movement during his 1987 quest for the Democratic presidential nomination were debunked by Biden himself.
King pulled old quotes where Biden claimed to have marched for justice in Selma and Birmingham, and this quote, where Biden later admitted he lied about those marches:
“During the 1960s, I was in fact very concerned about the civil rights movement. I was not an activist. I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware. I was involved in what they were thinking, what they were feeling. But I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma. I was not anywhere else. I was a suburbanite kid who got a dose of exposure to what was happening to black Americans,” Biden said after he was busted by the media for embellishing his civil rights record, according to King.
After reading Biden’s 400-page biography, King further noted Biden summarized the civil rights movement, and his involvement with it, with the following 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.”
According to accounts from the Union Baptist Church members, King, and even Biden himself, his claim about being “raised in the black church” is pure fiction.
Others were marching for equal treatment for minority Americans in 1962, around the time Biden was standing tall against his swimming pool nemesis, a Delaware gang member called CornPop Jackson, who Biden claimed he nearly fought with a chain while CornPop and three cronies were armed with razors.
Per the story Biden told, which is outlined in great detail by The Guardian, Biden said, “CornPop was a bad dude and he ran a bunch of bad boys.”
Biden said after he approached CornPop and the three others with his improvised chain weapon, the bad dude backed down, giving Biden a victory.
The absurdity of the CornPop rivalry and story alone drew a sort of bipartisan cringe when it was told by Biden last summer.
Biden’s stories should always be taken with a grain of salt.
His newly unearthed claim that he was seeking the council of Rev. Herring on civil rights issues during the CornPop era is further evidence that Biden’s propensity for telling falsehoods appears almost pathological.
He’s using the Delaware church to elevate his position with minority voters and his outlandish claims too often go unchallenged by the establishment media, so credit to those at The Beacon for following up on this one.
Biden, like many other young people in the early 1960s, was likely enjoying summertime sun when he was able to.
There is nothing at all wrong with that.
But there is an issue with a man such as Biden apparently attempting to rewrite history to bolster his credentials.
We can discern from Biden’s own words, and from the words of others, that he likely wasn’t too invested in black churches or in the civil rights movement as a young man and teen.
That interest in courting black voters apparently came after the former VP became involved in politics.
The candidate has been without shame since the beginning of his 47-year career in government.
But prior to that, he was apparently just another middle class American young man who watched TV and enjoyed territory disputes with rapscallion youngsters.
Now, seeking to court black voters for his third presidential bid, he has shamelessly been busted, yet again, telling another unnecessary fib.
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