Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday sought to clarify comments he made during an earlier interview suggesting that “the African American community is a monolith.”
Biden made the comment during a pre-taped interview hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists that was released in full on Thursday.
“By the way, what you all know but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” Biden said in that interview.”You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration in certain places than you do when you’re in Arizona. So it’s a very different, a very diverse community.”
Biden’s remarks came in response to a question from NPR reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro regarding whether he would engage with Cuba and on the differing immigration concerns between Cuban and Venezuelan Americans.
In a series of Twitter posts Thursday night, Biden wrote, “Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.”
“Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community,” he continued. “It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place.”
“My commitment to you is this: I will always listen, I will never stop fighting for the African American community and I will never stop fighting for a more equitable future.”
President Donald Trump responded to the comments outside the White House on Thursday, telling reporters, “So I just watched a clip. And Joe Biden, this morning, totally disparaged and insulted the black community. What he said is incredible. And I don’t know what’s going on with him, but it was a very insulting statement he made. And I guess you’ll figure that out. You’ll see it in a little while. But it was a great insult to the black community.”
Katrina Pierson, a Trump senior campaign adviser, said in a statement that, “The condescending white liberal racism that oozes out of Joe Biden is disgusting” and that the former vice president “tells a group of Black reporters that ‘you all know’ that Black people think alike.”
“There’s a reason Joe Biden can’t count on the support of Black voters and it’s because of his plantation owner mentality. President Trump has a true record of helping Black Americans, with unprecedented economic opportunity, record funding for HBCUs, criminal justice reform, and support for school choice.”
In May, Biden apologized after saying that “you ain’t Black” if “you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump” during an interview with radio show “The Breakfast Club.”