Former Vice President Joe Biden called on Americans to change the "white man's culture" and lamented his involvement in the Anita Hill hearings in remarks delivered Tuesday evening at the Biden Courage Awards ceremony.
Biden says he regrets he didn't give Anita Hill the "hearing she deserved" when she shared her story of sexual harassment in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas three decades ago.
"I wish I could have done something," he said. "To this day I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to give her the kind of hearing she deserved."
Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time of the hearing.
Later, the former vice president, citing cases of domestic violence in the early 1900s, said English Jurisprudential culture, "a white man's culture," has got to change.
"In the 1900s so many women were dying at the hands of their husbands because they were chattel, just like the cattle, or the sheep, that the court of Common Law decided they had to do something about the extent of the deaths. You know what they said? No man has a right to chastise his woman with a rod thicker than the circumference of his thumb. This is English Jurisprudential culture, a white man's culture. It's got to change. It's got to change," Biden demanded.
Biden said no man has a right to hit a woman, "unless it's in self-defense."
"No man has a right to lay a hand on a woman, no matter what she’s wearing, she does, who she is, unless it’s in self-defense. Never," he said.
Watch Biden's full remarks at the New York event: