“They’re a bunch of white guys.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said women are suffering in large part thanks to “white man’s culture” while speaking Tuesday at an event to prevent sexual violence on college campuses, The New York Times reported.
Biden, a Democratic frontrunner for president in 2020, told the gathering that white male culture turns a blind eye to sexual assault and misconduct.
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Recalling his own role in the case of Anita Hill, who famously accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation process in 1991, Biden said white men don’t “understand” the injustices women face.
“To this day I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to give her the kind of hearing she deserved,” said Biden, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time.
“But I also realized there was a real and perceived problem the committee faced: They’re a bunch of white guys,” he said. “I mean it sincerely — a bunch of white guys hearing this testimony. So when Anita Hill came to testify, she faced a committee that didn’t fully understand what the hell it was all about.”
Biden pointed to the recent confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after he was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, as evidence the culture hasn’t changed.
“Last fall, you saw it all over again in the Kavanaugh hearing,” Biden said. “Almost 30 years, the culture — the institutional culture — has not changed. We have an obligation to change the culture in this country.”
In recent years, liberals have criticized Biden for his role in the Hill saga.
Biden also took aim at British judicial traditions that were later passed on to the US.
“This is English jurisprudential culture — a white man’s culture,” Biden said before saying that the phrase “rule of thumb” was a reference to an ancient British law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.
“It’s got to change,” Biden said.
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The former vice president echoed feminist conceptions of the nature of sexual assault.
“It’s not about sex,” Biden said. “It’s about power. The most insidious abuse of power of all. And right now we live in a culture where the abuse of power is allowed to penetrate the highest offices of government, where it lives in boardrooms and global corporations, and it poisons entire industries — from Hollywood to hotel workers. It pushes down women all around the world.”
To change the culture, Biden said men have to take action to prevent violence against women.
“No man has a right to lay a hand on a woman, no matter what she’s wearing, she does, who she is…Never,” Biden said. “If you see a brother taking an inebriated co-ed up the stairs at a fraternity house and you don’t go and stop it, you’re a damn coward. You don’t deserve to be called a man.”
While many observers see Biden as a top contender to win the Democratic nomination for president, the former Vice President will have to overcome a past that many on the left now find objectionable. Aside from his role in the Anita Hill rulings, Biden himself has gained a reputation for being overly touchy with women he encounters.
Biden’s remarks on white culture may be an attempt to win favor with the left ahead of his presidential bid. Open hostility to white Americans has become trendy among the far-left, in large part because of the Democratic socialist ideas of Bernie Sanders that are also championed by up and coming Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
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- Joe Biden during October 2017 ceremony honoring Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the White House.: Screen grab