Biden did not attend the private funeral and burial of George Floyd today. Instead, Biden recorded a video to be played during the service.
Biden gives a good eulogy; people often ask him to speak for their dead. Unlike poor Mr Floyd, he had no issue attending the funeral of former Sen. Strom Thurmond — the racist Dixiecrat who once said, ‘there’s not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the negro race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.’
Thurmond specifically requested that Biden speak at his funeral, which the then-Delaware senator gladly did.
‘Strom Thurmond was also a brave man, who in the end made his choice and moved to the good side,’ Biden said. ‘I disagreed deeply with Strom on the issue of civil rights and on many other issues, but I watched him change. We became good friends.’
During the eulogy speech, Biden said that Thurmond, who was the only senator to ever reach 100 years of age while in office, had overcome his racist past through specific actions such as voting in favor of an extension of the Voting Rights Act and the establishment of Martin Luther King Day. This, he said, proved him to be a different man than the one who delivered the longest ever filibuster speech from a senator in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
‘I went to the Senate emboldened, angered, and outraged at age 29 about the treatment of African Americans in this country, what everything that for a period in his life Strom had represented,’ Biden said. ‘But then I met the man.’
Kumbaya! Cockburn is a strong believer in reconciliation, but he couldn’t help scoffing at the moment when Biden spoke fondly of his time working with the deceased senator on writing a crime bill that was later vetoed by President Ronald Reagan. The Biden-Thurmond crime bill would have expanded civil asset forfeiture and put an end to federal parole, meaning many more black people stuck in prison. That’s bipartisanship at work in America!
‘Why, in this nation, do too many black Americans — wake up knowing they could lose their life — in the course of living their life?’ asked Biden in his video eulogy for Floyd. Perhaps the former VP could examine his record of pushing for tough on crime policies for possible clues.
He continued, ‘As Thurgood Marshall once implored, “America must dissent from indifference…we must dissent from fear, the hatred, and the mistrust…we must dissent because America can do better…because America has no choice but to do better.”’ Where was this spirit of dissent from Biden 20 years ago?
As a senator, Biden was a vocal advocate of increased spending of local police and prisons in support of the War on Drugs. More than two decades later, the base of the Democratic party is demanding the defunding of police in response to the killing of a black man whose funeral Biden will speak at but not attend. Still, Biden insists ‘you ain’t black’ if you have to even think about voting for someone else come November.
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