Former Vice President and U.S. Sen. Joe Biden is considering a bid for the White House in 2020, but a position he once took back when Democrats thought it was politically safe to do so is likely to haunt him.
Speaking in 1975, Biden voiced his support for continued school segregation throughout the United States, claiming that do so would benefit miniority communities and that full integration with white students would rob blacks of “their own identity,” the Washington Examiner reported.
During a speech 44 years ago, Biden opposed federally-mandated busing policies aimed at ending school segregation. But over the past couple of decades, Biden has attempted to nuance or outright shift his earlier position, claiming he was supportive of desegregation but merely didn’t believe that the policy of busing black students into white school districts would achieve that. And last year, he claimed he ‘heroically’ voted to protect busing, the news site reported.
After being chosen as Barack Obama’s running mate in 2008, he said: “The struggle for civil rights was the animating political element of my life.”
And now, it looks as though he will attempt to make his record on civil rights a focal point of a potential campaign. He told an audience in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this week, “I came out of the civil rights movement.” He also claimed that he first saw what an “awful thing” segregation was when he was in the third grade after asking his mother why a bus took black kids to a school away from where they lived.
How valid is that claim? The Washington Examiner notes:
But 44 years ago, facing a backlash against busing from white voters, the future vice president voiced concerns not just about the policy of busing, which he had supported when first seeking election in 1972, but about the impact of desegregation on American society. He argued that segregation was good for blacks and was what they wanted.
“I think the concept of busing … that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride,” said Biden, according to an audio and transcript posted by the WE.
Desegregation, he argued further, was “a rejection of the entire black awareness concept, where black is beautiful, black culture should be studied; and the cultural awareness of the importance of their own identity, their own individuality.”
The comments appear to undermine Biden’s claims he was a civil rights champion, which will likely complicate his chances at securing the Democratic nomination in 2020 — given the party’s extreme Leftward shift and his penchant for gaffes.
Analysts who are familiar with Biden’s comments said they appear to stem from an inherent racism and a desire by Biden to maintain segregation — likely because that was what his white, Democrat constitutients wanted.
“That’s how I interpret that argument,” Ronnie Dunn, an urban studies professor at the University of Cleveland and author, told the Washington Examiner. “That was an argument against desegregation.”
Historically Democrats have been hostile to minorities. As PragerU notes, “Did you know that the Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, founded the KKK, and fought against every major civil rights act in U.S. history?”
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