Presidential candidate Joe Biden is attracting attention with a statement he made when he recently spoke at a joint conference of the Association of Colored Journalists and the Association of Spanish-speaking Journalists in the United States.
In the interview, which is mentioned by Breitbart and Newsweek, among others, Biden says that the Latin community in the USA, in contrast to the African-American, is very diverse.
The interview provokes, not surprisingly, reactions.
– Different attitudes
In the interview that was released in its entirety on Thursday, Biden says the following:
– What all of you know, but which many do not know, is that unlike the African-American society, with some exceptions, the Latin society is very diverse. It has very different attitudes about different things, it is very diverse.
The comment came, among other things, as an answer to whether he would continue the work that President Barack Obama started to normalize relations with Cuba.
In the clip, Biden is heard explaining the statement by saying that the Latin people in the states of Florida and Arizona have very different views on immigration.
With the presidential election ever closer, it is not surprising that Trump himself is one of those who respond to the interview.
– Wow! Joe Biden just lost the entire African American community. What a stupid thing to say, he writes Twitter.
Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser in Trump’s re-election campaign, was quick to comment on Biden’s statement.
– Hello media. Do you intend to cover this, or should you just continue to pretend that this is acceptable? There are only three words that describe Biden’s comment: Racist as hell, she writes Twitter.
On the same day, Biden also launched an advertisement aimed at African-American voters.
Not everyone is equally surprised by Biden’s comment.
– Biden has made mistake statements in a smooth run throughout his career. He is consistent in that way, says Hilmar Mjelde, senior researcher at the NORCE research center.
As an example, Mjelde explains that Biden referred to Obama as the first pure and pretty black candidate in 2007, and that in 2012 he talked about the Republicans wanting to put blacks in chains again.
Although Trump is often accused of being racist and not embracing African Americans in his electorate, Biden does not just have good shots when it comes to the African American population.
Also USA expert and associate professor at NTNU, Julia Leyda, has previously cited several examples of why to Dagbladet.
Among them is that Joe Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee when their decisions led African-American Anita Hill in 1991 not to be believed about her allegations of sexual harassment by her boss, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Another is that Biden also supported welfare reform legislation that reduced social support for the poor, and which Leyda believes largely demonized African Americans in need of public assistance.
– There is much speculation that Biden has become small-senile in his old days. But Biden also came with blunders when he was intellectually at his sharpest. He has a habit of stepping on a rake or two – but he is also a man from the past. It may well be that there are some unintended, slightly racist old man attitudes left in him, says Mjelde.
– Little importance
The US expert nevertheless believes that the statements will not have much significance for Biden’s election campaign further.
– As long as you express yourself at best ambiguously in a super-tabloid media landscape, people hear what they want. There are plenty of Trump statements where the Democrats and the media choose to interpret him in the worst possible sense, says Mjelde and adds:
– Anyway – voters do not vote for Biden, but against Trump. This does not matter.
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