Biden On Education Reform In Black America: Black Parents Can’t Read Or Write Themselves

Written by Dana Sanchez
One-time 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden has been counting on the South Carolina Black electorate to save his bid for the presidency but his words keep coming back to haunt him. Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, takes photos with supporters after speaking at a campaign event in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Democratic presidential candidate and one-time 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden has been counting on South Carolina’s large Black electorate to save his bid for the White House after defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Black voters make up about 60 percent of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina, which holds its primary on Feb. 29. The ability to mobilize Black support there has been the foundation of Biden’s candidacy, New York Times reported.

But things Biden has said in the past are coming back to haunt him.

During a private meeting with prominent Black mayors in Georgia last year, Biden answered a question about education reform. He said one problem Black communities face is that the “parents can’t read or write themselves.” The remark shocked and frustrated many in the close-knit group, according to three people with direct knowledge of the gathering, NYT reported.

A new Quinnipiac poll show’s Biden’s support among Black voters nationally had fallen from 49 percent in January to 27 percent this month.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has claimed frontrunner status for the first time, bypassing former Vice President Biden. In the Feb. 10 poll, Sanders got 25 percent of the vote among Democrat and independent voters who lean Democratic. Biden got 17 percent, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg got 15 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren got 14 percent, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg got 10 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar got 4 percent.

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“Joe Biden wasn’t selected as a running mate for Barack Obama because he was a civil rights activist,” said JA Moore, a state representative from Charleston, S.C., who attended a Biden campaign event on Tuesday. “It was because he was a safe white choice.” Moore had supported Senator Kamala Harris before she withdrew.

Biden is counting on an overwhelming victory in South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary to dispel the narrative that he is doomed, LA Times reported.

“It ain’t over, man,” Biden told a crowd of supporters in Columbia. “Up till now, we haven’t heard from the most committed constituency in the Democratic Party — the African American community.”