Biden, during Kenosha visit, says America will tackle ‘original sin’ of slavery
Former Vice President Biden met with the family of Jacob Blake for over an hour and said he spoke to him on the phone.
On a trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that America would soon be confronting centuries of systemic racism.
“We’re finally now getting to the point where we’re going to be addressing the original sin of this country, 400 years old — slavery and all the vestiges of it,” Biden said at a community meeting, promising action if he’s elected president in November.
“I can’t guarantee you everything gets solved in four years,” he continued, “but I can guarantee you one thing: It will be a whole heck of a lot better. We’ll move a lot further down the road.”
The former vice president reportedly met with police shooting victim Jacob Blake’s family for over an hour, and he told those assembled that he spoke to Blake himself on the phone for 15 minutes.
“He talked about how nothing was going to defeat him,” Biden said, “how whether he walked again or not, he was not going to give up.”
Biden spoke at Grace Lutheran Church near downtown Kenosha, listening and taking notes as a mix of local speakers expressed their viewpoints.
“I can’t understand what it’s like to walk out the door or send my son out the door — or my daughter and worry about just because they’re Black, they may not come back,” he said to one participant at the community gathering. “I can’t really — I can intellectually understand it, but I can’t — I can’t feel it.”
Outside of the church, after Biden’s remarks, Jacob Blake’s uncle, Justin Blake, said, “(President Donald) Trump didn’t ask about my nephew. Trump didn’t mention my nephew’s name while he was here.”
Justin Blake called Biden “more of a unifier,” while making it clear that he and his family are still “holding everybody’s feet to the fire. Nobody gets a free pass.”
The former vice president compared the era of smartphone videos being used to capture the killing of Black Americans by police to the television broadcasts of the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago. He said that both have been influential in waking up white Americans.
Biden told reporters as he departed the city that he “felt good” about the trip. “I think we brought people together,” he said.
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