Joe Biden, on Thursday, Aug. 6, on a video call with the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, in an attempt to praise Latin American voters, issued a series of racist comments that were severely criticized.
The exact words used by the possible future candidate for president of the United States were: “Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.”
To the disbelief of the callers, surely accepting that this was a misunderstanding, they continued to ask, and Biden continued, “We can build an administration that reflects the full diversity of our nation and the full diversity of the Latino community (?). Now, what I mean by full diversity, is that unlike the African American community and many other communities, you are from all over; from Europe, from the tip of South America, even from our border in Mexico or the Caribbean, and from different ethnicities, but all Latinos.
Biden spent much of his time trying to persuade Latino voters to take to the streets and support him in the election, and he repeatedly criticized President Trump for his alleged attacks on immigrants.
Later during an interview at the convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Lulu Garcia-Navarro of NPR pressed the future candidate to answer whether he would “recommit” to Cuba if he were president, something she suggested would have an impact on Cuban-American voters in Florida.
“Yes, yes,” Biden responded. “And by the way, what you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” he continued.
To the puzzled looks, Biden tried to explain, “You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration in certain places than you do when you’re in Arizona, so it’s a very diverse community.”
Some time later, in the same live interview, Biden had a strong argument with CBC News African American journalist Errol Barnett when Barnett asked Biden if he had taken a cognitive test.
To which Biden responded, “No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man. That’s like saying you, before you got on this program, you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?” Biden said to Barnett, who is black.
Later in his Twitter account, Joe Biden posted an attempted apology, “Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.”
Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 7, 2020