In addition to his frequent gaffes and an allegation of sexual assault, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has also faced scrutiny for his long record as a U.S. senator.
As a new report from the Washington Free Beacon revealed, Biden once supported tax-exempt status for private schools practicing racial segregation.
Biden has already been criticized for his opposition to forced busing and a key role he played in the passage of a 1994 crime bill while a senator representing Delaware.
Detractors additionally pointed to Biden’s comments about his ability to work with anyone in Congress — including senators who supported segregation — as evidence that he is not in touch with the current state of his party.
Early on in his political career, Biden reportedly mused that children would grow up in a “racial jungle” if desegregation happened in the wrong manner, as Business Insider reported.
According to the Free Beacon, in the late 1970s, he backed an amendment to an appropriations bill that would protect the tax-exempt status of private segregated schools.
While civil rights groups opposed the amendment, its supporters argued that the language would help protect private institutions from overreach by the IRS.
“Fill them with hatred”
This represents the latest revelation from Biden’s past that appears to stand in stark contrast with the progressive wing of the modern Democratic Party. In fact, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), earned widespread attention during one presidential primary debate for her attack on Biden’s record regarding busing, which the then-senator said could lead to racial resentment.
“You take people who aren’t racist, people who are good citizens, who believe in equal education and opportunity, and you stunt their children’s intellectual growth by busing them to an inferior school, and you’re going to fill them with hatred,” Biden said at the time, according to Business Insider.
Harris has gone on to become a key Biden backer and leads his shortlist of possible running mates, but the former vice president still faces plenty of questions about a record many Democratic voters say is insufficiently progressive.
It appears he has alienated some within both the law-enforcement community and the realm of liberal activism by either going too far or not far enough on police reform, depending on their perspective.
Some candidates face problems with voters because their record is not long enough to provide a solid representation of their views. It appears Biden might have an altogether different concern as he attempts to explain decades of decisions that many in his party find indefensible.