The Washington Post reports on an interview a Delaware newspaper conducted with Joe Biden in 1975. On the subject of race, Biden stated:
I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race.’ I don’t buy that.
Putting an even finer point on it, Biden added:
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.
How about 345 years ago, Joe?
It followed from this sensible attitude that, as the Post notes, Biden took a lead role in the fight against busing white children to majority-black schools and black children to majority-white schools in order to force integration when neighborhood demographics cut against it.
Nowadays, mainstream Democrats, including those in the administration he served, want to force integration of the neighborhoods themselves.
Biden also had the right line on diversity, especially when it’s tied to quotas. He stated:
The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with. What it says is, ‘In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.’ That’s racist! Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?
Nowadays, the diversity rationale holds that Biden’s white grandchildren need to sit next to kids with dark skin to be able to learn anything. This theory is just as racist and just as inane.
How will African-Americans react to Biden’s ancient remarks on race? Perhaps the way Cornell William Brooks, a former president of the NAACP who now teaches at Harvard, did. Brooks told the Post that he has personal affection for Biden, but was taken aback by portions of the 1975 interview. He added:
If you said something like that [it’s not clear which statements Brooks was referring to] in 2019, there would be a response. . .that would be pretty harsh. Having served as vice president to the first African American president in U.S. history, and given all that he’s seen in the intervening years, I would be stunned if he would stand behind that.
I would be stunned too, although a spokesperson said that Biden still believes he was right to oppose school busing.
Biden’s defenders will say it’s unfair to judge him by statements he made more than 40 years ago, as a 29 year-old, given what he has learned since them. But Democrats are eager to judge, and disqualify, GOP presidential nominees based on what they wrote about race as college students. Biden was a U.S. Senator at the time he made the statements about race discussed here.
The left also demonizes famous American political figures of the past for positions they took 200 years ago or more. But those guys are all dead. They can’t help leftists satisfy their lust for power. Joe Biden can, and a chastened Joe Biden can probably help them even more.