FLASHBACK: Biden Enlisted Help of Senator Who Referred to African Americans as 'Inferior Race' | NTK Network FLASHBACK: Biden Enlisted Help of Senator Who Referred to African Americans as ‘Inferior Race’

FLASHBACK: Biden Enlisted Help of Senator Who Referred to African Americans as ‘Inferior Race’

"Dear Mr. Chairman...I want you to know that I very much appreciate your help during this week's committee meeting in attempting to bring my anti-busing legislation to a vote."

By NTK Staff | 04.12.2019 @2:00pm
FLASHBACK: Biden Enlisted Help of Senator Who Referred to African Americans as ‘Inferior Race’


Former Vice President Joe Biden sought the help of a fellow senator who often referred to African Americans as “an inferior race” in his fight against busing to desegregate schools, according to letters reviewed by CNN.

One of the first issues that Biden championed when he arrived in the Senate in the 1970s was ending busing programs that desegregated schools.

On Thursday, CNN reported on a “series of never-before-published letters from Biden,” which showed just how opposed to busing Biden was.

“My bill strikes at the heart of the injustice of court-ordered busing. It prohibits the federal courts from disrupting our educational system in the name of the constitution where there is no evidence that the governmental officials intended to discriminate,” Biden wrote to fellow senators on March 25, 1977. “I believe there is a growing sentiment in the Congress to curb unnecessary busing.”

One of the senators Biden sent the letters to was Sen. James Eastland, “a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a leading symbol of Southern resistance to desegregation.”

In a letter written to Eastland, who “frequently spoke of blacks as ‘an inferior race,'” Biden said: “Dear Mr. Chairman…I want you to know that I very much appreciate your help during this week’s committee meeting in attempting to bring my anti-busing legislation to a vote.”

According to CNN:

Two weeks later, Biden followed up with a note to Eastland “to thank you again for your efforts in support of my bill to limit court ordered busing.”

Biden, who would go on to lead the Judiciary Committee a decade later, got his start on the panel under Eastland. Few senators were more virulently outspoken against desegregation than the Mississippi senator, who was known for incendiary floor speeches on race.

But that didn’t stop Biden from inviting Eastland to speak on the Senate floor in support of Biden’s anti-busing bill.

“I want to personally ask your continued support and alert you to our intentions,” Biden wrote on Aug. 22, 1978. “Your participation in floor debate would be welcomed.”

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