Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has angered the Black community with his comments about Black parenting during the third round of Democratic debates on ABC News.
The Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 election was speaking on the inequality that African-American children face at school when he made a statement which some described as “offensive”.
At the Democratic debate in Houston, ABC News Correspondent Linsey Davis asked Biden, “what responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?”
Biden started his answer by mentioning “the problems that come from home” as a source of racial inequality, according to Slate’s transcript of his answer.
Biden added that teachers need help dealing with the issues students bring from home because they have “every problem coming to them.”
“We have to make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school — to school, not day care, school. We bring social workers into homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio. Make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night,” he said.
These comments from the 76-year-old former vice president didn’t augur well with viewers who said Biden is suggesting that Black people do not know how to take care of their own children.
Some took to Twitter to express their thoughts about Biden taking a question about the legacy of slavery, and making it about inadequate parenting by individual families.
Editor and author at Time magazine, Anand Giridharadas, wrote on Twitter: “Joe Biden’s answer on how to address the legacy of slavery was appalling — and disqualifying. It ended in a sermon implying that black parents don’t know how to raise their own children. This cannot go on.”
Brea Banks said: “Joe Biden stressed the importance of school psychs last night, which is important for us as a profession, but we need to be careful about praising extremely problematic, dare I say racist comments, which carry forward deficit ideologies surrounding Black parenting”.
Software sale leader and lean director, Craig Perrin, also wrote: “And the transcript also shows Joe made wildly prejudiced comments about black parenting in America, yet we hear nothing about that.”
An associate professor and chair in the department of politics and international affairs at Northern Arizona University, Stephen Nuo-Prez, told Insider that “the Democrats keep saying ‘this is the most important election in our lifetime’ and then continually protect someone who continues to say wrong things.”
Meanwhile, Biden’s communications director, Kate Bedingfield, in an interview with MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson, said she did not believe that Biden should have answered the question differently.
“Biden made the same point he makes all the time about the investment in underserved communities and his record of investing in underserved communities … the point that he was making was an incredibly important one, which is about exposure to language and making sure kids have the resources and opportunities to learn,” she said.