Presumptive Democratic Nominee for President Joe Biden called President Donald Trump the first elected racist president in United States history during remarks made to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
“No sitting president has ever done this. Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists and they’ve existed and they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has,” Biden said. The former VP alleged that Trump’s blaming of China for the worldwide coronavirus pandemic was also racist in nature. “Look what he’s doing now. He’s blaming everything on China. He’s blaming everything on the Chinese… and people don’t make a distinction, as you well know, from a South Korean and someone from Beijing,” Biden asserted. “They make no distinction, it’s Asian. And he’s using it as a wedge.”
Biden’s remarks drew quick criticism from many who questioned the historical knowledge of the former VP, according to Fox News. Twelve former presidents were slave owners. Woodrow Wilson supported segregation and implemented it in federal agencies. Andrew Jackson forced Cherokees off their land and had them moved further west during the “Trail of Tears.” Even Franklin Roosevelt, beloved hero to generations of Democrats, authorized the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Many of these former presidents have come under attack recently after the unrest caused by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Last month Princeton University removed Wilson’s name from its school of public policy for his “racist views and policies.”
President Trump responded to the former VP’s attacks during a White House briefing on Wednesday afternoon reported AJC.com. The president cited his administration’s success in passing criminal justice reform and expanding opportunity zones that target investment in minority communities. He also pointed out record low unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics prior to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He concluded, “I’ve done more for Black Americans than anybody, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, nobody has even been close.”
Trump campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson defended the president with a statement that read in part, ““President Trump loves all people, works hard to empower all Americans, and is supported by more Black voters than any Republican presidential candidate in modern history. No one should take lectures on racial justice from Joe Biden.
Biden previously caused controversy when he commented on a popular radio talk show, “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Civil Rights attorney Leo Terrell blasted Biden for what he called “insulting” comments about African-Americans. “Joe Biden has insulted every African American by saying if you don’t vote for me, ‘you ain’t Black.’ I’m Black. I’m not voting for him,” Terrell said. “He’s an insult to every American because people decide on the competency of the candidate – Joe Biden has to help the people in those cities and he’s not doing it. He’s in his basement.” Biden later apologized for the comment.