WASHINGTON – Joe Biden on Thursday night tried to clarify the remarks he made earlier in the day, when he suggested that the black community in the United States lacks diversity compared to the Spaniards.
“Earlier today, I made some comments about the diversity of African-American and Latin American communities that I want to clarify. By no means did I want to suggest that the African-American community is a monolith – not in terms of identity, not in terms of issues at all. Biden said in a thread of tweets.
“Throughout my career, I have witnessed the diversity of thoughts, backgrounds, and sentiments in the African-American community. This diversity makes our jobs, communities and country a better place, ”he continued. “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 fairer future.”
His response came after he faced criticism from comments made to Biden, he told a Latina reporter on National Public Radio in an interview published Thursday. It was part of a series of interviews hosted by the National Association of Spanish Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists, and his comments surfaced during a discussion on US and Cuban policy.
“What you all know that most people don’t know, unlike the African-American community with remarkable exceptions, the Latin American community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes to different things,” Biden said. “Go to Florida, you find a very different attitude to immigration in certain places than when you’re in Arizona. So it’s a very different, very diverse community.”
Biden came under fire for remarks, including from President Donald Trump, who tweeted in response: “Wow! Joe Biden just lost the whole African-American community. What a stupid thing to say!”
Biden’s senior adviser on his 2020 presidential campaign, Simon Sanders, defended the former vice president’s comments, saying Biden was referring to “the diversity of attitudes among Latinos from different Latin American countries.” She said a video of what he said was circulating was “conveniently cut to do so for racial diversity, but that’s not the case.”
Kristen Welker contributed.