As destructive and often violent protests continue to impact communities across the U.S., Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and others in his party have faced criticism for insufficiently condemning the unlawful behavior.
According to Fox News, Biden now appears to be addressing the glaring oversight, declaring on Wednesday that “violence won’t heal us.” But with protests proving fatal in some cases, it seems Biden’s comments may have come too little, too late.
“Showing up in the polls”
The latest police-involved shooting to spark such demonstrations resulted in days of civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and beyond. It was in front of this chaotic backdrop that the former vice president made his latest remarks.
While Biden has offered a few token statements denouncing riots that have erupted in the months since George Floyd’s death in Minnesota, critics have accused Democrats and some in the media of diminishing the criminality on display at many protests.
This week seems to have ushered in a new tone, however, as polls show increased concern among voters about their safety and an overall decrease in support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
CNN host Don Lemon attracted mixed reviews for his on-air declaration that the “rioting has to stop” because it is “showing up in the polls” and could harm Democrats in upcoming elections, as the New York Post reported.
Biden, for his part, called attention to Jacob Blake, the Black man shot by police earlier this month in Kenosha, in a tweet decrying violence. He echoed those sentiments in a statement on Thursday condemning “all forms of violence.”
“It makes me sick,” he tweeted, according to Fox. “Is this the country we want to be?”
“We need to end the violence”
The former vice president’s tweet went on to call for a peaceful response to the injustices being protested in cities across the nation.
“Needless violence won’t heal us,” he said. “We need to end the violence — and peacefully come together to demand justice.”
Of course, Trump has notably spoken out against violent elements within the protests from the start, declaring in May that Floyd’s death was a “grave tragedy” but decrying the “radical left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses, and burning down buildings,” according to Business Insider.
As more Americans see protests turn violent in their own neighborhoods, it would not be surprising to see the Trump administration’s tough approach to the situation become more popular in the weeks leading up to Election Day.