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So what has changed?

In Wednesday’s edition of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, an AP article was featured entitled “Hate just hides” and subtitled “Biden vows to take on systematic racism.”

It stated that presumptive Democrat(ic) presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed to address institutional racism in his first 100 days in office…

Without offering specifics, he promised to “deal with institutional racism” and set up a police oversight body in his first 100 days in office, if elected.

“I really do believe that the blinders have been taken off. I think this tidal wave is moving. I realize we’ve got to do something big, we can do it, and everyone will benefit from it.

My question: If we do have institutional racism in this country, is this something new and has only been in existence for the past three or four years? Or could one assume that a systemic problem, defined by the word systemic, is something that is not new and has been in existence for many years? One could argue whether it is even systemic, or an issue that is exacerbated by a few (relative to population) bad actors, but that is a discussion for another time.

If this systemic problem were the case, then for those with short memories, Joe Biden was vice president of the United States for eight years, from 2008-2016. Does anybody want to venture a guess why he didn’t address this systemic problem when he had the authority and position to effect change?

Actions are always louder than words, and I don’t recall the Biden/Obama administration putting forth legislation or enacting any policies to mitigate this systemic problem in their first 100 days, let alone the eight years they held office.

A recent article in The L.A. Times, outlined that Joe Biden chaired the 1991 Clarence Thomas hearings that gave short shrift to the sexual harassment allegations raised by Anita Hill. He backed crime legislation that many blamed for helping fuel an explosion in prison populations. He eulogized Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), who rose to prominence as a segregationist. He backed the Iraq war.

Biden opposed school busing for desegregation in the 1970s. He voted for a measure aimed at outlawing gay marriage in the 1990s. He was an ally of the banking and credit card industries.

Numerous other reports state that in 1987 Joe Biden claimed “When I marched in the civil rights movement, I did not march with a 12-point program. I marched with tens of thousands of others to change attitudes. And we changed attitudes.” Problem is, Biden did not march in the civil rights movement.

Many politicians espouse what we want to hear during an election year. Is this the case? The electorate will have to make that call.

Larry Reed

Parkersburg

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