New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t amused that Democratic presidential nomination front-runner Joe Biden was able to work with southern segregationists in his early career.
“If you ignore racism and if you don’t address issues of race with racists, then everything is fine, right?” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Politico Thursday. “That’s how you work with segregationists: By not confronting the racism and their institutionalization of second-class citizenship and a lack of fully recognizing African-Americans.”
Ocasio-Cortez also remarked that Biden has conjured up a plethora of questionable comments about minorities over the years, including the president who chose him as his running mate: Biden was amazed at how a black man could be so “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” (RELATED: Joe Biden Tells Europe That ‘America Is An Embarrassment’)
“Between this, between the Hyde Amendment, concerning comments towards women, towards African-American people — it justly creates anxiety if there’s going to be tone-deaf comments towards immigrants, towards Latin American people, towards LGBTQ communities,” she told Politico.
Biden’s past relationship with white supremacist southern Democrats may be the skeleton in the former vice president’s closet, but it is no longer the elephants in the room that nobody is acknowledging.
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, who is also vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, also turned his ire against Biden for “praising segregationists” and said “you don’t joke about calling black men ‘boys.’ Men like James O. Eastland used words like that, and the racist policies that accompanied them, to perpetuate white supremacy and strip black Americans of our very humanity.”
Biden suggested Booker “should apologize” for that criticism.
Booker was referring to an incident from Tuesday night when Biden laughingly recalled moments with Mississippi Democratic Sen. James Eastland, who referred to him as “son,” not “boy,” a title that was sometimes reserved for black men by white southerners during the Jim Crow era. (RELATED: Joe Biden 2020 Website Is Tricking People Into Thinking It’s The Real Thing)
Biden was a senator from the southern border state of Delaware for 36 years and was politically close to the segregationist Democratic power base in the South. The comments about Eastland are only the tip of the iceberg for Biden, who once declared that segregation was a form of “black pride.” The former senator also voted to posthumously restore United States citizenship to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Although Biden has referred to himself as the “most progressive” Democrat running for president, he has held conservative positions over the years, including support for traditional marriage and the 1994 “three strikes” crime bill that he authored. The latter legislation drastically increased the penal population while critics said it affected minorities disproportionately.