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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Attorney Leo Terrell Slams Biden over “Racist” Remarks in Wilkes-Barre Speech

Out of the entire 1-hour speech, Terrell honed in on a single comment he considered racist...but he had a point.

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President Joe Biden speaks at the Arnaud C. Marts Center on the campus of Wilkes University, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
President Joe Biden speaks at the Arnaud C. Marts Center on the campus of Wilkes University, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Photo: Evan Vucci (AP)

Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell blasted President Joe Biden for a story he told in his latest speech about visiting a predominantly-Black, high-crime side of Pennsylvania. The point of the story was to emphasize his support for funding police, however, Terrell criticized Biden’s comments as being racist and then trailed off into an anti-Democrat rant, per Fox News.

Biden told a story of how his late son, Beau, and his grandson would go down to a tough-crime area in Wilmington and tell the cops who were sitting in their cars to get out and meet the people in the community they were patrolling. Though, he had a rocky start getting to the meat of the story.

“And what he used to do is go down to the East side, called ‘The Bucket,’ highest crime rate in the country. There’s a place where I was the only white guy that worked as a lifeguard down in that area, in the East side. And you could always tell where the best basketball in the state is, the best basketball in the city is, where everybody shows up,” Biden said in the speech.

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Mr. Terrell was on the edge of his seat to respond to the remarks. “It’s so racist. He’s the only white guy? Basketball – many Black people? Joe Biden’s in a 1955 time warp,” he said on ‘Hannity’ via Fox News. As much as the sound of his voice gives me a headache, Terrell made at least half a point.

Read the rest of Biden’s speech from The Daily Mail:

“He’d go down and hang out and sit on a bench with my grandson, who’s now 17 years old. And police used to be in the car – local, city police. And he’d go up and bang in a window and say: ‘Get out of the car dammit meet these people. Let them see you. Let them know you. Let them know who you are,’” as Biden told it.

Then Biden brought up the 1992 crime bill he helped author, on a day when Biden and his White House team stressed more investment in police – in a direct contrast with the ‘defund the police’ movement. The law’s stricter sentences have drawn criticism in recent years amid complaints about mass incarceration rates. It also contained funds for communities to hire police officers.

“Remember what happened to community policing? We went from having enough cops on the street to cities doing well and they deciding they don’t need more police officers. So they reduced the police forces. So you didn’t have two cops in every vehicle. You had one cop in every vehicle. And I don’t blame one cop for not getting out in some certain neighborhoods, not getting out of the car,” he said.

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Terrell’s comments snowballed into a slew of accusations about Biden’s approach to law enforcement and that’s where he lost me. “Don’t go on TV and talk about law enforcement when you don’t talk about the summer riots, when you don’t call out BLM, when you don’t call them out by first and last name; The Squad, Antifa - what this city and country went through for three years,” he said on Fox.

The whole January 6 insurrection-to-George Floyd protests comparison is getting tired. However, the “basketball” comment was definitely a bit of 1970s Joe peaking through the cracks.

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Listen, we’ve been hip to the fact that President Biden was working on the side of segregationists while Black people were fighting for basic human rights. Even though he’s made race relations the bulk of his campaign and ongoing initiatives, voting for him wasn’t a matter of preference for some Black voters, it was necessity because they couldn’t bear another Trump era.