Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden attempted Thursday to clarify remarks suggesting that the nation’s Black community lacks diversity in comparison to Hispanics.
Biden came under fire for comments he made during an interview Wednesday for the joint virtual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).
“Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things,” Biden said when asked about U.S.-Cuba relations and the varying issues among Cuban and Venezuelan immigrants during the interview, which was released in full Thursday. “You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration than you do in Arizona. So it’s a very diverse community.”
Biden spoke again on the topic during an appearance Thursday at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference.
“We can build a new administration that reflects the full diversity of our nation. The full diversity of the Latino communities,” he said during the virtual conference. “Now when I mean full diversity, unlike African American community, many other communities, you’re from everywhere. From Europe. From the tip of South America, all the way to our border and Mexico and in the Caribbean. And different backgrounds, different ethnicities, but all Latinos.”
After encountering backlash, Biden took to Twitter later that night to clarify his comments.
“Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith — not by identity, not on issues, not at all,” Biden said.
“Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community. It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place,” he continued. “My commitment to you is this: I will always listen I will never stop fighting for the African American community and I will never stop fighting for a more equitable future.”