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Joe Biden’s History On Race Looms As He Weighs Presidential Bid

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  • Former Vice President Joe Biden has a history of racially inflammatory remarks. 
  • Biden in the 1970s opposed desegregation busing, which he claimed “codifies the concept that a black is inferior to a white.”
  • In 2007, Biden’s campaign stumbled after he attributed Iowa’s educational successes to the lack of minorities in the state.
  • Biden sparked backlash in 2007 when he praised Obama for being an “articulate” black politician.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is reportedly on the verge of launching his third presidential campaign, has a history of making racially charged remarks.

Biden’s history of questionable remarks on race looms as he enters a crowded Democratic primary where racial issues have taken center stage.

1975: Biden Says De-Segregation ‘Codifies The Concept That A Black Is Inferior To A White’ 

Biden expressed a separate-but-equal view toward racial desegregation efforts in schools during a 1975 interview with U.S. News & World Report reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

When asked if he believed that busing was doing more harm than good, Biden, who at the time was a senator for Delaware, replied, “Absolutely. Examining the concepts we used to rationalize busing six or seven years ago, they now seem to me to be profoundly racist.”

“Busing is harmful for several reasons,” Biden added.

First, busing, in effect, codifies the concept that a black is inferior to a white by saying, “The only way you can cut it educationally is if you’re with whites.” I think that’s a horrible concept. It implies that blacks have no reason to be proud of their inheritance and their own culture.

Second, busing violates the cardinal rule that the American people pose for their elected officials. They’ll forgive our greed. They expect it. But the one thing they don’t expect, and won’t tolerate, is not using good old common sense. The reason, in my opinion, why there’s such a vociferous reaction to busing today in both black and white communities is that we’re not using common sense. Common sense says to the average American: “The idea that you make me part of a racial percentage instead of a person in a classroom is asinine.”

In addition, busing also is damaging because it spends on transportation money that could be better spent on new textbooks and other educational improvements.

Biden went on to argue that de-segregation efforts would backfire by stoking racism:

I firmly believe the overwhelming majority of white people have no objection whatever to their child sitting with a black child, eating lunch with a black child, all the things that were the basis for the racist movement in the past. But it makes no sense to them that they can’t send their child to the school that’s two blocks down the street.

And what this results in is heightened racial tension. You get whites saying: “I know why it’s happening. It’s those goldarned civil-rights people. It’s those damn liberals.” Then, after there’s turmoil, with school days missed, teachers not showing up, it degenerates into: “It’s those blacks.”

Biden, who did not return TheDCNF’s request for comment, made similar arguments against busing in a 1975 NPR interview the Washington Examiner resurfaced in January. Biden called busing “a rejection of the whole movement of black pride.”

Biden in that interview called desegregation “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.”

In an interview with the Philadelphia Enquirer that same year, Biden praised notorious segregationist George Wallace.

“I think the Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace, someone who’s not afraid to stand up and offend people, someone who wouldn’t pander but would say what the American people know in their gut is right,” Biden said in the interview, which the Examiner highlighted earlier this month.

2006: Biden Says You Can’t Go To Dunkin’ Donuts In Delaware ‘Without A Slight Indian Accent’

Biden stirred controversy with comments about Indian Americans in 2006, while preparing to launch his second presidential campaign.

“In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans, moving from India to America, you cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts without at least a slight Indian accent,” Biden said.


2007: Biden Says Iowa’s Schools Do Better Because They Lack Minorities

Biden had to play damage control in 2007 over comments he made to The Washington Post’s editorial board.

“Biden attempted to explain why some schools perform better than others — in Iowa, for instance, compared with the District [of Columbia],” the editorial board wrote.

Biden was quoted saying, “There’s less than 1 percent of the population of Iowa that is African-American. There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you’re dealing with.”

2007: Biden Says Obama Is Making History By Being ‘Articulate’

Biden’s campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination was marred by gaffes. In one 2007 interview, Biden praised then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, one of Biden’s primary opponents, as a “storybook” because he was “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

2007: ‘I Spent Last Summer … Trying To Get Black Men To Understand It’s Not Unmanly To Wear A Condom’

Biden bragged in a 2007 debate that he spent the previous summer “trying to get black men to understand it’s not unmanly to wear a condom.” (RELATED: Biden Backtracks After Calling Mike Pence ‘A Decent Guy’)

“I spent last summer going through the black sections of my town holding rallies in parks trying to get black men to understand it’s not unmanly to wear a condom, getting women to understand they can say no, getting people in the position where testing matters,” Biden said.

“I got tested for AIDS,” he continued. “I know Barack got tested for AIDS. There’s no shame in being tested for AIDS.” Obama clarified that he got tested with his wife in public, as part of an effort to raise awareness of AIDS testing.

2012: Biden Tells Mostly Black Audience That Republicans ‘Gonna Put Y’all Back In Chains

Biden told a mostly black audience at a 2012 campaign event that if Republicans won the election, “they gonna put y’all back in chains.”


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