“We’re finally now getting to the point where we’re going to address the original sin in this country . . . slavery, and all the vestiges of it,” Biden said. “I can’t guarantee you everything gets solved in four years. 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.”
In tone and dialogue, Biden’s trip differed dramatically from that of President Trump two days earlier. The former vice president met with Blake’s family and spoke with Blake by phone for 15 minutes before meeting with a disparate group of community leaders. Trump had toured buildings burned after protests over the shooting, and his audience was heavy with members of law enforcement.
Reflecting some of the internal debate among Democrats over the balance between animating Black voters protesting in the streets and trying to win back White working-class voters in the industrial Midwest, Biden once again opposed looting and violence but also sided with the sentiments of the street.
“I promise you, win or lose, I’m going to go down fighting, I’m going to go down fighting for racial equality, equity across the board,” Biden said. “The country’s ready — and if they’re not, it doesn’t matter, because there are certain things I ain’t going to change. There are certain things worth losing over. And this is something worth losing over if you have to. But we’re not going to lose.”…
Biden also directly responded to some squeamish Democrats who have pointed to declining support for Black Lives Matter protests as a warning sign against aligning with it.
“As much as they say that Black Lives Matter has lost some standing since the president’s gone on this rant about, you know, law and order, et cetera,” Biden said, “still you still have 50 percent of the American people supporting it. It was up to 78; that’s never happened before.”
Several local leaders earlier this week urged both Trump and Biden to postpone visits, saying that partisan politics would only exacerbate raw emotions within the community.
“There’s been overwhelming requests that I do come,” Biden said, during a news conference Wednesday in Wilmington, Del., when asked about his visit. “I have gotten advice from sitting members of Congress, in the Senate as well, to go — and that I should go. I’m not going to do anything other than meet with community leaders as well as business people, other folks in law enforcement, and to see — to start to talk about what has to be done.”