The former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus was baffled by an exchange during the third Democratic debate.
“I’ve seen a lot of criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden over this exchange,” CNN’s Jake Tapper said, playing a clip.
“What responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?” moderator Linsey Davis asked Biden on Thursday.
“We bring social workers into homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It is not 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 that you have the record player on at night, the phone —” Biden said.
“I’ve seen a lot of people criticizing, a lot of African-Americans, in particular, criticizing that answer for being from a different century,” Tapper said.
“I don’t know what he was answering, but it wasn’t the question,” Rye replied.
“And I would start with the fact just this same week, Jake, we are in the middle of Congressional Black Caucus foundation activities and started the week off with a commemoration of the 400th year that the first undocumented slave person arrived to the shores and the fact that Joe Biden response would go to the same type of victim-blaming from conservatives for decades is sad,” she explained. “I think it is highly problematic that Joe Biden has not yet dealt with whether or not he has a black agenda.”
“When we talk about racism in this country, it is not about parents not knowing how to raise their children. And then for him to say that, on the stage at Texas Southern University, which is a historically black college which — shameless plug, I did the commencement speech this spring — I am just — I just don’t know if he’s not listening to his black advisers because he has them.”
“And I want him to really come to terms with the fact that things are different from when he started in politics — he’s been in politics a long time — even different from when he served as vice president for both terms for Barack Obama, it is a different day and age and it is required — it is incumbent upon him to have a black agenda and the reason why 52% of the respondents to the black census by the Black Futures Lab say they don’t think politicians care about black people.”