Joe Biden makes headlines again with its supposed reluctance to adapt attitudes and style of the time. At a fundraising event in New York on Wednesday, former vice president of Barack Obama remembered his long career. He said that during his lifetime he also worked with politicians whose views he did not share. These included, for example, two Democrats from the south of the country, where even the 20th century Democratic Party was long dominated by politicians who allowed the separation of public and private life according to racist criteria (“racial segregation” or “Jim Crow” laws). wanted to.
Biden mentioned Senator James Eastland of Mississippi as an example. Eastland was a senator until 1978, fighting the judicial abolition of “segregation” and calling blacks “inferior race”. Eastland called him, Biden, “never ‘boy’ but always ‘son’,” the candidate assured the event in New York. Since enslaved men and later blacks were often labeled “boy” by racists, many people were angry at Biden’s remark.
Democrat Herman Talmadge, also a member of the Senate for Georgia until 1981, described Biden as “one of the meanest guys I’ve ever known.” But one could work together, there had been “at least something like civility”. This comment, Biden’s defense attorney, has on Donald Trump based.
However, “civility” has long been a politically controversial term in the United States because people who fight against racism are often told that they are not “civil” enough in the form of confrontation. Critics accused Biden of praising the alleged “civility” of two deceased politicians who supported the whites’ often violent resistance to civil rights.
In the eyes of many observers, Biden’s apparent refusal to be more deliberate and to address the concerns of disadvantaged groups no longer fits in with the times. Especially among young people it could bring in the election campaign in trouble. But the staff of the former Senator from Delaware apparently have little hope that Biden wants to work on the impression of “tone-deafness”, the political “deafness”. “He is not one to whom you can go and say, you did that for X years, but today you can not do that anymore!” quoted Washington Post an anonymous campaigner.
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who also applies for the Democratic presidential candidacy, meanwhile demanded an apology from Biden. Candidate Kamala Harris of California said in the corridor of the Capitol about the party colleagues named by Biden: “If these men would get their will, I would not be in the Senate and in this elevator.” Biden reacted upset. “They know better,” he scolded his inner-party competitors. “Excuse me for what? Cory should apologize! ”
Biden has been accused in the past of not always being able to assess the political and social changes in American society – and too often his solution is to ignore them. He used a defensive standard formula against the journalists, which brought him renewed criticism: “I have no racist bones in my body. I’ve been at the side of the civil rights movement all my career. Point, point, point, “the Washington Post quoted him. The outbreak showed above all that Biden reacted emotionally to the allegations. He later explained, “I could not have been more at odds with James Eastland when it came to his segregationist attitude. I ran for the United States Senate because I was against segregationist views. ”
Meanwhile, Booker relented on CNN and said it was “really problematic” for Biden to demand an apology from him. Someone would have had to explain Biden, Booker said, that he would make things worse if he responded to the criticism of an African-American man by claiming he was “not a racist.” “I know Joe Biden, he’s better than this,” the senator said.