Zachary R. Wood on Why Biden’s Words on Racial Equality Ring Hollow

Former Vice President Joe Biden

Zachary R. Wood is an assistant curator at TED and the author of “Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America.” The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.

“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.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden uttered these words in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1975. But before we proceed, I have to ask: Are you surprised?

Perhaps Biden’s humor is lost on me, but I have a hard time understanding how any American leader could make a statement like that and truly believe in racial equality. At first glance, I thought to myself: If Biden wants the support of African American voters, he is going to have to recant this opinion, and apologize for the anger and distrust his words have unjustly ignited. On second thought, I am not sure if it would be a good idea for Biden to address this horrendous comment because I fear that if he tried, he might only succeed in making some aggravated potential threat to our public safety somewhere think that statements like this are in the ballpark of being “OK.”

Instead of discussing the reasonable expectation that Biden fumble around and flub a partial apology, here I want to make the case briefly as to why I believe Joe Biden does not deserve the support of the African American community. My thesis: Biden’s 36-year Senate history scarcely reflects a strong, honest commitment to fighting for racial justice.

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Source: Black Press USA