Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden walked back his “you ain’t black” if you have a hard time “figuring out” whether you’re for him or President Donald Trump comment Sunday night.
“I shouldn’t have said that,” Biden told ABC News‘ Robin Roberts during an interview.
“I was trying to make the point, [Trump] is a man that spent his entire career denigrating African Americans, the truth is, there is a fundamental difference between Donald Trump and me on the issue of race across the board,” Biden said. “I’m not going to, I’m not going to try to divide people. It’s all about bringing people together.”
Biden said he owes his political career to the African-American community and was inspired to get involved with civil rights to help end racism and discrimination. He said his comment was taken the wrong way, explaining he doesn’t understand why a black person would vote for Trump. (RELATED: Biden Says Interviewer In ‘You Ain’t Black’ Exchange ‘Was Being A Wise Guy’)
Biden faced some backlash in May during an interview on “The Breakfast Club” with co-host Charlamagne tha God.
Biden said his wife had an engagement and he had to end the interview, to which Charlamagne tha God asked Biden to come back on the program again, saying “it’s a long way to November. We’ve got more questions,” according to Fox News.
Biden then responded “I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”
Charlamagne tha God responded that “it has nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact that I want something for my community.”
Biden retorted, “Take a look at my record. I extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP’s endorsed me every time I’ve run. Take a look at the record.”
Biden also received some criticism another remark regarding the Black community in August while speaking with the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
“What you all know, but most people don’t know. Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is incredibly diverse community with incredible different attitudes about different things,” Biden said, according to ABC News. “You go to Florida you find a very different attitude about immigration in certain places than you do when you’re in Arizona. So it’s a very different, a very diverse community.”
Biden reiterated those remarks during a live discussion with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, according to ABC News.
“We can build a new administration that reflects the full diversity of our nation, the full diversity of Latino communities. And when I mean full diversity, unlike the African American community and many other communities, you’re from everywhere. From Europe, from the tip of South America, all the way to our border and Mexico, and in the Caribbean.”
Biden later apologized for his comments in a tweet.
“In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith-not by identity, not on issues, not at all. Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community. It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place.”
Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 7, 2020
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who is the son of immigrants from Grenada, said the comments were “insulting,” according to ABC News.
“To diminish those cultures and the richness of those cultures is such a wildly ignorant thing to do and insulting on so many levels. But I wish I was surprised.”