I’ve known Joe Biden for decades, and I know it’s absolutely absurd for anyone to call him a racist in reaction to his poor choice of words in an interview Friday with an African-American radio host.
Granted, the former vice president may not always be the most eloquent politician, but he has shown by the eloquence of his actions over his long career that he is a strong champion who fights for equality and opportunity for all Americans and a true friend of African-Americans.
The old saying “actions speak louder than words” should be used to compare Biden’s outstanding record as a U.S. senator and vice president against President Trump’s dismal record of dividing Americans against each other.
RICHARD FOWLER: BIDEN ISN’T A RACIST, DESPITE HIS ‘YOU AIN’T BLACK’ COMMENT AND CLAIMS BY REPUBLICANS
Biden was right to apologize Friday for telling the black radio talk show host who calls himself Charlamagne tha God earlier in the day: “I tell you, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Biden was trying to be funny with the remark, but he failed – and said so soon afterward himself. Unlike Trump, who will never admit making a mistake, Biden has the courage to admit when he says the wrong thing.
“I was much too cavalier. I know that the comments have come off like I was taking the African-American vote for granted. But nothing could be further from the truth,” Biden said in a virtual address to the U.S. Black Chambers, a business group, hours after his radio interview. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy.”
“No one should have to vote for any party, based on their race or religion or background," Biden said.
I say: Thanks, Mr. Vice President. Apology accepted. And thanks, Mr. Vice President, for your unflagging support for decades for the important issues that matter to African-Americans.
Biden has won the overwhelming support of black elected leaders and millions of African- Americans who have judged him based on his record, leadership and character.
The highest-ranking black member of the U.S. House of Representatives – Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C. – gave Biden an all-important endorsement for the South Carolina presidential primary this year that helped Biden become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
“I know Joe Biden. I know his character, his heart, and his record,” Clyburn said. “Joe Biden has stood for the hard-working people of South Carolina. We know Joe. But more importantly, he knows us."
And I can tell you from firsthand experience that Biden understands that he cannot take anyone for granted – especially now, when our lives and livelihoods are at stake in the November election.
And I can tell you that Biden’s record is anything but cavalier when it comes to fighting for civil rights, voting rights, and kitchen table issues like health care, education and so many other issues that matter for African-Americans across this country. Millions of other black Americans know this as well.
We know that when Joe Biden got into politics it was because of his commitment to join the fight for civil rights and voting rights. This commitment motivated him to open doors for others and ensure everyone has a path to pursue the American Dream.
We know Joe Biden was an unfailingly loyal vice president who showed up every day to contribute to the success of our nation’s first African-American president – President Barack Obama. Quite a contrast to Trump, who attacks and insults Obama almost daily even now and falsely claimed that Obama was born in Africa and not the United States.
We know Joe Biden has plans that will help lift up African-Americans, particularly now, when our economy and health care are in a free fall.
A Biden administration will mean a fairer Justice Department that will stand up for voting rights and will urge states to automatically restore voting rights for individuals convicted of felonies who have served their sentences. A Biden administration will enforce civil rights laws vigorously.
Biden has said he will appoint the first African-American woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, as part of a slate of judges he will appoint to help further America’s march towards equality and justice for all.
Biden knows that the African-American community has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and often lacks needed health care coverage. Unlike President Trump – who has rolled back the Affordable Care Act and undermined Medicaid – Biden will not stop fighting until every American has affordable health care by expanding ObamaCare, improving public health, and ensuring quality nursing homes.
Biden has always understood that millions of African-Americans are part of the workforce that stands on the front lines to defend and serve our country, but remain at the back of the line when it comes to pay, benefits and equity in the workplace.
Biden knows that a caring government does not send people to work on the front lines of a crisis without appropriate gear. He will fight for hazard pay, overtime pay and a living wage for workers in our hospitals, supermarkets, law enforcement agencies, public transit and elsewhere.
While Trump tweets his angry outbursts, insults and false claims almost around the clock in a nonstop temper tantrum, Biden is focused on public service and solving the problems confronting our nation based on facts rather than emotion.
Behind the tweets and comments of any political leader, what is in your heart is reflected in the actions you take. In this election it’s not even a close call as to who will support communities of color, the poor and our struggling middle class. Thesc communities need this backing now more than any other time in our lifetime.
Will Biden be pitch-perfect on all matters of race, culture and politics? In the wake of his support for policies like the bipartisan 1994 crime bill, black voters will be adamant that Biden do more to help those seeking to restore their voting rights and to treat African-Americans justly.
The Biden Plan for Black America explains in detail how the former vice president’s policies would benefit African-Americans and is worth reading.
For now, I am going to accept Joe Biden’s apology and continue to hold him and the party that I once led accountable to be more than black like me.
I want the Democratic Party and a President Biden to be advocates for justice and equality for all Americans. But one thing is for sure: they will do a far better job than President Trump and the Republicans if Biden winds up in the White House.
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When they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe;" but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: "We are really with you: We (were) only jesting."Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and give them rope in their trespasses; so they will wander like blind ones (to and fro). (The Cow 14-15 )