Sharpton: ‘Stunning,’ ‘Painful’ Biden Made Situation Worse with States’ Rights Argument

Friday on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House,” network host Al Sharpton criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for his defense of his record on bussing.

Partial transcript as follows:

SHARPTON: I think that when you look night, I was sitting up front watching this. Joe Biden said that he was supporting the local school boards doing the decisions, not the federal government, which is tantamount to saying I support state’s rights. He said that. That’s not Kamala Harris confusing what he said. And if you need a day to explain that you are not with state’s rights, you only made the situation worse. I’m talking about what he said out of his mouth, which was stunning to me.

WALLACE: Give me the version for dummies for that. That has all sorts of problematic connotations.

SHARPTON:  The problematic connotations she raised last night. When she said federal government had to intervene, that’s how we got the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. The only way the Civil Rights Movement operated towards any kind of achievement is the federal government had to protect them against states that would never outlaw segregation. Similar in the Civil War if you didn’t have a strong national union, the Confederate states were involved. For him to say he supported the local school boards making the decision is for him to say we’re going back to state’s rights and the federal government to not intervene. That’s a point, the federal government designated bussing. One of the points I think a lot of people miss is the a lot of the civil rights leadership came out of the south. She and I are about nine years apart. We were both bussed in the north. A lot of people did not want to deal with the racism in the north. Bussing in Brooklyn or Boston or Berkeley where she was from because a traumatic experience. We were going into neighborhoods where we were called names and all of that. That’s what she was raising where we lived. He is used to the generation of Southern civil rights leaders where you can play liberal when you visited down south but don’t send your kid to my school when I get home, and that’s what that was so reminiscent of when he said that and so painful. Like when I sat with him last Saturday on my show in South Carolina and said don’t you understand when you talk about boy and son, they would never call me son because they don’t see me as part of their family. Boy when you raise that is not only what they call me and my daddy and granddaddy, we were never able to be a man. I understand it but he wouldn’t apologize. All he had to do is deal with the pain he caused. All of us have said things we shouldn’t say. But when you don’t feel like you’re going to apologize, when you act like that’s a bridge too far, we’re going to play politics with people’s real pain, that’s where they end up in the situation he ended up in. I think Kamala Harris — I’m not endorsing anybody — I think she really talked about the pain because a lot of us had to get on those northern buses and face hostility every day.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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