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Will Donald Trump or Joe Biden be better for race relations?
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Joe Biden has a poor track record on race relations

In his senate career, Biden has taken a number of problematic stances on race issues, such as busing, and pushed for legislation that has disproportionately affected minority groups. More recently, he has taken the support of racial minorities for granted.

The Argument

In his long political career, Joe Biden has taken regrettable positions on race issues. In the 1970s, he called busing, where children were transported to schools outside their locality to promote desegregation, a “bankrupt policy”.[1] He also was a leading proponent of the 1994 Crime Bill which was instrumental in producing the mass incarceration problem in the US which disproportionately affects men of colour.[2] As Obama’s vice president, Biden also must take responsibility for the administration’s hostile immigration policy which resulted in 3 million people being deported, of which 1.7 million had no criminal record.[3] Biden also has a history of taking for granted the support of communities of colour, particularly the Black community, without delivering results. In May 2020, he said in an interview that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black”.[4] This highly offensive remark suggests that on race relations, Biden cannot be trusted to deliver.

Counter arguments

Biden has offered an apology of sorts for his “you ain’t black” remark, calling it “too cavalier” and saying he was being a “wise guy”, whilst also drawing attention to his record on race issues.[4] He also said that the mass deportations conducted during Obama’s presidency were a “big mistake”.[3] It is important not to place too much emphasis on Biden’s actions in the more distant past - his current election pledges are a far better guide to what he will do for race relations if elected president. We should allow for politicians to learn from and rectify their mistakes.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 16 Oct 2020 at 08:43 UTC

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