CNN's Aisha Moodie-Mills: Biden Is "A White Man Of A Certain Era," Shows "Racial Paternalism"


CNN analyst Aisha Moodie-Mills debates Biden campaign advisor Jennifer Granholm about former vice president Joe Biden's attitudes on race, Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" panel.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN: And I want to bring in Aisha because the former vice president also received a lot of criticism for a response he gave when he was asked by Linsey Davis of "ABC News" about the legacy of slavery. It was something -- I think it is fair to call it sort of a rambling answer and here is part of it that really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We bring social workers into homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It is not that they don't want to help. They don't -- they don't know quite what to do.

Play the radio. Make sure that the television -- excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night. The phone -- make sure that kids hear words.

TAPPER: "Rolling Stone" columnist Jamil Smith wrote, "He is saying things at a Democratic debate on an HBCU campus, no less" -- historically black college -- "that make it absolutely impossible to trust Biden to be the party's best candidate to address systemic racism."

Your response?

AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. My friend Jamil nailed it. I mean, here's the challenge. So, I don't want to -- I very much believe that Joe Biden is a good man and that his heart is pure. But the problem though is that he is a white man of a certain era in this country.

He served with segregationists who he revered. He comes from a school of thought frankly served with Moynihan who wrote a report that suggested that what is wrong with black people and black communities has everything to do with them. As opposed to the systemic challenges and frankly structural racism that has created the poverty and that has disenfranchised and suppressed black people since the beginning of time.

I think it is really rich that today he's having a conversation to connect the dots with slavery and the church shooting. When, in fact, it doesn't seem he has a real deep grasp on the structural racism in this country and how even his own policies from mass incarceration is one that we can just start off talking about, his views on busing that he still doesn't seem to be able to understand really how that impacts people socially and otherwise, and the outcomes that black Americans are experiencing right now, that it seems to me that he constantly makes these gaffes which are out of touch with where we are today because he comes from an era of this, like, racist paternalism in public policymaking of how we have looked at dealing with the issues that the black community faces which frankly come from racist public policymaking.

GRANHOLM: But he said that he has evolved. He has said that he has made statements 40 years ago that he would not make today. And, in fact, his policies today are about addressing those structural issues.

Making sure that there is more investment in African American and women-owned businesses to decrease the wealth grab. Eliminating -- or totally reforming criminal justice so that you don't have private prisons making a profit off of people being incarcerated. Eliminating for good the disparity between crack and between powder cocaine. Supporting the --


MOODIE-MILLS: -- thoughtful on these things. He was asked 40 years ago he said I don't have any responsibility but what my father and what my grandfather did. And he doubled down on this. He says, I have no responsibility for what they did.

GRANHOLM: But that was -- again, that was so many years ago and he has apologized for that.

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