An undecided African American voter took a veiled swipe at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden Thursday night, asking the former vice president to give him an answer “besides ‘you ain’t Black’” for why young Black voters should support him in the 2020 election.
Cedric Humphrey asked the former vice president during a town hall hosted by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Thursday night to address young Black voters.
“Besides ‘you ain’t Black,’ what do you have to say to young Black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that continually fails to protect them?” Humphrey said.
Humphrey was referring back to Biden’s comments earlier this year during an interview with radio star Charlamagne tha God.
“I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black,” Biden said during that interview.
Biden, Thursday night, responded to Humphrey by quoting the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., saying, “It’s a sacred opportunity, the right to vote.”
“You can make a difference. If young Black women and men vote, you can determine the outcome of this election,” Biden said. “It’s not a joke—you can do that.”
The former vice president, in an attempt to tout his record and highlight how he has “demonstrated I care about my whole career,” went on to discuss a “fair and more decent” criminal justice system, and education but then discussed Black Americans and their “position to gain wealth” and “generate wealth.”
Biden spoke about “early education” and Title I schools, which he said he has increased funding for.
Biden then went on to deliver a somewhat rambling answer, saying “every 3 and 4 and 5-year-old goes to school, not daycare, school at all the great universities including to the one you go to or went to…when you let them go to school they make up rapidly whatever fail—whatever shortcomings they had in education prior to that.”
Biden added: “They have not heard as many words spoken, etcetera, etcetera,” and said that “58% will increase to go through all 12 years of school successfully,” and shifted to speaking about social workers.
Biden then went on to discuss the difficulty Black Americans have in getting money for down payments, saying it is “awful hard to get the money depending on the background—the economic background,” while saying he would “guarantee $15,000 for a down payment.”
Biden then shifted to discuss the Black entrepreneurs, saying that “all the studies now show that young Black entrepreneurs are just as successful as white entrepreneurs,” but questioned “where do you go to get the start up money?”
Biden said he and former President Obama invested in the Small Business Administration around the country.
But then Biden attempted to paint a picture of himself and Humphrey—if they were “the same age” and went to build “the same house,” his in “a white neighborhood and yours in a Black neighborhood.”
“Same home—your home would start out being valued less than my home—29% less,” Biden said. “Your insurance would be higher. We’ve got to end this. This is red-lining. We can change so much.”
Biden talked about the importance of “accumulating wealth.”
“You’re behind the 8-ball,” Biden said. “The vast majority of people of color are behind an 8-ball.”
Stephanopoulos went on to cut Biden off, and asked Humphrey: “Did you hear what you need to hear?”
Humphrey replied: “Um, I think so.”
Biden, in August, was asked about his now-infamous “you ain’t Black” remark, which he admitted he should not have said.
“I shouldn’t have said that,” Biden told ABC News’ Robin Roberts.
“I was trying to make the point, [Trump] is a man that spent his entire career denigrating African Americans, the truth is, there is a fundamental difference between Donald Trump and me on the issue of race across the board,” Biden said. “I’m not gonna try to divide people.”