Former Vice President Joe Biden was asked about reparations for black Americans during the Democratic debate Thursday and replied in part by telling parents to play their “record player” to help their kids’ education.
“Mr. Vice President, I want to come to you and talk to you about inequality in schools and race,” ABC’s Linsey Davis said.
“In a conversation about how to deal with segregation in schools back in 1975, you told a reporter, ‘I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather, I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation, and I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.’ You said that some 40 years ago. But as you stand here tonight, what responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?”
“Well, they have to deal with the- look, there’s institutional segregation in this country,” Biden said. “And from the time I got involved, I started dealing with that. Redlining, banks, making sure we are in a position where- look, you talk about education. I propose that what we take those very poor schools, the Title I schools, triple the amount of money we spend from $15 to $45 billion a year. Give every single teacher a raise to the…$60,000 level.”
“Number two, make sure that we bring in to help the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. The problems that come from home, we need- we have one school psychologist for every 1,500 kids in America today” he said. “It’s crazy, the teachers are, I’m married to a teacher, my deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them.”
“We bring social workers into homes, parents to help them deal with how to raise their children,” he continued. “It’s not want that they don’t want to help, they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television- excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the, the phone, make sure that kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school- a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time we get there.”
Sparks flew during the debate Thursday as some of the candidates got personal with each other. Biden seemed to again make a gaffe, at one point appearing to refer to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as “the president.” (RELATED: Julian Castro To Joe Biden: ‘Are You Forgetting What You Said Two Minutes Ago?’)