President Biden welcomed African leaders for dinner at the White House last night. The White House has posted the transcript of his remarks here. Biden’s remarks would not have been complete without this iteration of the 1619 creed:
“We the People” reminds us that our countries’ greatest strength lies in just that: our people. Our people lie at the heart of the deep and profound connection that forever binds Africa and the United States together.
We remember the stolen men and women and children who were brought to our shores in chains, subjected to unimaginable cruelty.
My nation’s original sin was that period.
One can’t help but wonder if the assembled African leaders included any descendants of African slave traders. The world is a complicated place.
Biden’s remarks remind us of the dire threat that Mitt Romney posed, according to Biden himself. As students of ancient history may recall, Romney threatened the restoration of slavery as recently as 2012. Unfortunately, Romney could not be reached for comment on Biden’s remarks.
Other than this reminder of the Romney threat, were Biden’s remarks necessary or constructive? In addition to the threat that Romney posed, Biden’s remarks remind us that nothing he says should be taken at face value.