Joe Biden’s History Of Race Baiting
On July 2, 1986, many years before the ever-frail and stumbling Joe Biden lost control of his mental capacity to deliver coherent sentences, Biden spoke at the 77th Annual NAACP Convention. In that commencement address, he did not forget the location where he was speaking, nor did he lose his train of thought as he struggled to keep up with the words on the teleprompter. The speech did, however, encapsulate Biden’s deep history of race baiting, his tenuous record with the truth, and his ability to embellish his personal history for political gain.
Biden began his speech by proclaiming to a mostly black audience that “When I was 17 years old, I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses in Wilmington, Delaware.” The only problem is Biden never participated in sit-ins. He falsely claimed that he organized a walkout of a restaurant called the Charcoal Pit, except for the fact that the black student who was refused service at the time said that Biden and the other white students who were with him “weren’t aware of what happened.” Biden also falsely claimed that he picketed the last segregated movie theater in Wilmington, Delaware in 1965. Yet, according to the book Historic Theaters of Delaware, the Rialto theater that Biden supposedly picketed, had already begun admitting black patrons in May 1963, meaning that Biden would have been protesting for a right that had already existed for blacks two years earlier. Although the Washington Post gave Biden two pinocchios for these claims, it has not prevented him from continuing to tell these falsehoods anyway
In his remarks Biden also viciously attacked then-president Ronald Reagan, the individual most responsible for ending the Cold War, increasing our national defense, cutting taxes and eliminating regulations, and who by the end of his second term in office delivered the longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity without a recession or depression. Biden referred to Reagan and other Republicans as racists and fearmongering bigots, who ruled by executive fiat, and wanted to keep black children illiterate and impoverished.
“Our enemies on the right used these initiatives to regain the initiative. To the nation, they cast the civil rights debate in terms of black children being able to move ahead, only if white children were forced to slide behind. They convinced the poor white in the same circumstance in as much need as the poor black that black progress meant his job. They convinced the fair-minded middle-class white, that progress and education for black children could come only at the expense of his child getting a chance to go to college.” Biden’s shamefully dishonest remarks about the 40th president should put to rest any credence to the idea that the sanctimonious Democrats revered and respected former Republican presidents who occupied the Oval Office before the evil Orange Man was elected president in 2016. They have always treated Republicans in power with disdain and contempt, only to pay them lip service once they are no longer in office.
Biden went on to accuse Reagan of supporting apartheid in South Africa. This from a man who falsely claimed that he was arrested on a trip there in the 1970s while he was attempting to meet with Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned on Robben Island at the time. Biden’s story has never been corroborated by a single witness, and the township of Soweto, where he said he was arrested, is more than 760 miles from Robben Island. Biden never apologized for fabricating the story. His staffers simply said that he was referring to a time where he was separated from his party at an airport in Johannesburg.
Without citing any evidence, Biden went on to accuse Reagan and his administration of denying people of color access to a quality education, affordable housing, and voting rights. “We in this room are allies, engaged in all-out warfare with the right wing in this country. Extremists who intend not merely to end the gains made by the civil rights movement in education, in housing, in voting and in public accommodations, and the gains we were beginning to make on the greater economic opportunity questions. These right wingers intend not just to slow down our progress, they mean to end it, to reverse it.”
Perhaps Biden was unaware that Reagan was the first president to introduce legislation for the school voucher program. In fact, on two separate occasions in 1983 and 1985, Reagan unsuccessfully tried to pass such legislation through Congress. Had the 1985 bill passed, it would have given minorities and lower-income families direct payments of $600 per year to send their children to better public and private schools. Not surprisingly, Democrat-backed teachers unions in New York and other cities lobbied against the voucher program, declaring that it would undermine public education, effectively killing the bill. Reagan also proposed using vouchers to support other lower-income programs, including subsidizing affordable housing and Medicare. Of course, none of those facts mattered to Biden, because painting Reagan and Republicans as racists and bigots in order to stir up racial division and court the black vote has always been his top priority.
Biden went on to assail Reagan for supposedly waging a war on our values and institutions, implied that he was a fascist, and castigated him for appointing originalist justices, including the appointment of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female jurist to the Supreme Court. “The right-wing ideologues of this administration freed from their fear of having to stand for election again, are waging a permanent, overt, unabashed total assault on the values and programs of a just America. What they cannot win in the Congress, they attempt to win by executive fiat. And what they cannot accomplish by executive fiat, they attempt by packing the courts with ideological robots, programmed to respond to the radical whip of the right.”
Biden did not only refer to Reagan appointed justices as slavemasters. He declared that Reagan and anyone who worked in his administration or supported his agenda was akin to a slaveowner. “If you listen to what they say, you can hear voices from another time. Remember those voices… ’go slow or you’ll only hurt the Negro,’ or ‘blacks brought this violence on themselves.’ They were words from another era that are coming back to echo in our ears today because they are being spoken again today.”
While Biden delivered this speech over thirty-four years ago, he could have just as easily have given it in 2020 and substituted the name Reagan for Trump. Apart from their different communication styles, Trump has governed in much the same way that Reagan did. He has cut taxes, slashed regulations, rebuilt our military, created opportunity zones and school choice, appointed two originalist Supreme Court justices, instituted criminal justice reform, renegotiated unfair trade agreements, and brokered peace agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Serbia and Kosovo. As a result of his successes, Trump and his supporters must be punished and deemed bigots by Biden. If Biden leaves his basement and shows up to debate Trump on Tuesday, one thing is certain: he won’t compare Trump to Reagan. He’ll just call him and his supporters racist.