June 26, 2020

EVEN SNOPES CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO WRITE THIS OFF: Did Joe Biden Say He Didn’t Want His Kids Growing Up in a ‘Racial Jungle’?

In early March 2020, readers asked Snopes to verify a quote in 1977 in which Biden, then a U.S. senator representing Delaware, allegedly expressed fear that desegregation, if not done in an “orderly” way, could result in his children growing up in “a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point.”

The quote was initially uncovered by Daria Roithmayr, a law professor at the University of Southern California (USC), in July 2019. But as Biden emerged from Super Tuesday on March 3, 2020, as a potential front-runner for the nomination, news stories containing the quote circulated anew.

Among stories readers widely shared was a July 15, 2019, Business Insider story that reported, “Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing increased scrutiny over his record on busing and racial issues, and this week old comments resurfaced in which he said, in 1977, that busing for the purpose of desegregation would cause his children to ‘grow up in a racial jungle.

The quote is accurate as reported.

Plus:

Biden made the remark in 1977 during a hearing about busing school children in order to desegregate public schools. As The New York Times reported in a detailed delineation of Biden’s history with busing, Biden at the time had emerged as the Democratic party’s crusader against busing, taking the same side as segregationists. Biden “joined up with Jesse Helms, the segregationist senator from North Carolina, to offer his own anti-busing amendment to that year’s education spending bill.” Biden’s “advocacy made it safe for other Democrats to oppose busing,” The Times reported.

The Times further reported that Biden sided with Helms in 1975 when the latter proposed to strip the federal government’s power to withhold funding from school districts that refused to comply with racial-equality measures.

More at the link.

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