When Biden talks about poverty and parenting, criticism often follows


By: Kalyn Belsha

February 28, 2020

“From my standpoint, it does matter,” said William Darity Jr., a professor of public policy, economics, and African and African American studies at Duke University. The repetition of these ideas, he said, “does affect the kind of social policies we choose to adopt.”

The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment. In the past, Biden and his campaign have said his comments were calling attention to differences of class, not race, or were made in reference to his family’s personal experiences.

Bebe Coker, a longtime education activist in Biden’s home state of Delaware, says she understands people could be offended if they didn’t know Biden or his work.

“He was there with us,” she said of her fight to pass laws against racial discrimination in housing and public accommodations when Biden was in the Delaware legislature. “He sees humanity as humanity.”

Coker, who is black, sees Biden’s words as an attempt to highlight the struggles of children in poverty and the need for schools to better serve them. “Whether you like it or not,” she said, “he’s telling the truth.”

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