Joe Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki abruptly deflected questions whether the Democratic President acknowledged his own culpability relating to systemic racism in America during his decades-long stint as a senator.
A reporter asked Jen Psaki about Pres. Biden’s own culpability in systemic racism — here’s how she responded pic.twitter.com/WagSqbzFgL— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 22, 2021
New York Post reporter Steven Nelson brought up Biden’s role in adopting multiple federal crime legislation in the 1980s and ’90s that “disproportionately jailed Black people and contributed to what many people see as systemic racism”, asking at a White House press briefing:
“To what extent does President Biden acknowledge his own role in systemic racism? And how does that inform his current policy positions?"
Psaki responded by saying:
"I would say one of the president’s core objectives is addressing racial injustice in this country, not just through his rhetoric, but through his actions, and what anyone should look to [is] his advocacy for passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, for nominating leaders to the Department of Justice, to address long-outdated policies and to ask his leadership team here in the White House to prioritise these issues in his presidency, which is current and today and not from 30 years ago."
The journalist doggedly pursued a more direct answer: “Do you believe it's important for him to accept his own culpability...”
At that point Psaki tersely cut the reporter off and replied: “I think I've answered your question.”
‘Symbolic Crack Pipe’
US President Joe Biden slammed systemic racism as a "stain on our nation's soul" in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday after a white former police officer, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of murdering George Floyd by suffocating the handcuffed black man with his knee pressing on his neck for more than nine minutes.
The President urged the importance of "confronting head on systemic racism and the racial disparities that exist in policing and our criminal justice system".
President Biden on Chauvin verdict: “It was a murder in full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to the systemic racism — that’s a stain on our nation’s soul.” pic.twitter.com/rpLOkgKt4c— IT’S TIME FOR JUSTICE (@LiddleSavages) April 22, 2021
Analysts and civil rights campaigners hailed the ruling as a major win for black citizens in the US.
However, Joe Biden during his 2020 presidential campaign had come under fire for helping author 'tough on crime' laws as the senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009.
The 1994 crime law - previously known as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act - enforced a mandatory sentence of life without parole for a third serious drug conviction.
Passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton, it was meant to reverse decades of rising crime, yet sent some perpetrators to prison for life for selling marijuana. Some criminal justice reform activists insist the law was one of the key contributors to mass incarceration in the 1990s.
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act - Wikipedia— TheTruthDamit (@TheTruthDamit) April 21, 2021
Biden wrote the crime bill he now tails against. But like everything he has done in the last 48 years in DC, he is on the wrong side of history. https://t.co/dH1pruMUsk
In an interview during Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020, then-Harvard professor Cornel West - an American philosopher and political activist focusing on the role of race, gender, and class in American society, said that Biden would “have to take responsibility and acknowledge the contribution he made to something that was not a force for good”.
“When he says it didn’t contribute to mass incarceration, I tell him he has to get off his symbolic crack pipe.”
Netizens were swift to weigh in and suggested that while Psaki curtly brushed off the pertinent question, someone should “ask Biden directly”.
This is so wack. Yeah let’s just forget the 40 years of of a racist foundation he helped build with his own two hands.— Tom Nook is Antifa (@DZelenkofske) April 22, 2021
There's no thoughtful way to defend Biden's shitty record.— max (@_gedaliah) April 22, 2021
If you don’t know the answer just give the press BS. Ironically some of these comments are praising this answer. Do you enjoy large sweeping answers that give you no information?— Jason (@jasonbruenn) April 22, 2021
Yasss defending the architect of the contemporary police state girlboss moment of the week 👏👏💅— Thomas (@CoffeeCommissar) April 22, 2021
Oof. Someone needs to ask Biden himself this question.— 🍴💰Wire Morty🚫👮♀️ (@keepaustinnasty) April 22, 2021
Apparently Biden’s “advocacy for passing the George Floyd justice in policing act” and him nominating “leaders to the department of justice to address long outdated policies” — means he’s no longer culpable for his 30+ year record of passing + legislating laws that uphold racism https://t.co/nKzc61rxV6— Tamanisha J John (@TamanishaJohn) April 22, 2021
Can't even acknowledge accountability for the mess he in part created. Cowardice.— Powerlifting (Future) RN 🚩🏴 (@barbellking) April 22, 2021