Voter to Biden: "Besides 'You Ain’t Black!' What Do You Have To Say To Young Black Voters?" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Voter to Biden: "Besides 'You Ain’t Black!' What Do You Have To Say To Young Black Voters?"


A student from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania sked Joe Biden what he can do for black voters.

"Besides, 'You ain't black!' what do you have to say to young black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that fails to protect them?" he asked.

“We have to be able to put Black Americans in a position to be able to gain wealth and generate wealth," said Joe Biden.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And welcome back to our Town Hall with Joe Biden. We're going to get a question now from Cedric Humphrey, he's a student from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, progressive Democrat.

BIDEN: Don't jump, Cedric. You look like you're way up there.

CEDRIC HUMPHREY: I'll be OK. Thank you, George. And good evening, Former Vice President Biden.

BIDEN: Good evening.

HUMPHREY: Many people believe that the true swing demographic in this election will be Black voters under the age of 30. Not because they'll be voting for Trump, but because they won't vote at all. I myself have had this exact same conflict.

So, my question for you then is, besides you ain't Black, what do you have to say to young Black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that continually fails to not protect them?

BIDEN: Well, I'd said, first of all, as my buddy John Lewis said, it's a sacred opportunity, the right to vote. You can make a difference.

If young Black women and men vote, you can determine the outcome of this election. Not a joke. You can do that.

And the next question is, am I worthy of your vote, can I earn your vote? And the answer is, there's two things I think that I care, that I've demonstrated I care about my whole career. One is in addition to dealing with a criminal justice system to make it fair and make it more decent, we have to be able to put Black Americans in a position to be able to gain wealth, generate wealth and so you look at what that entails and it entails everything from early education; that's why I'm supporting making sure that when you have Title One Schools as you know schools with the least tax base to be able to support their schools, I increased the funding for them from 15 to $45 billion. That allows every teacher in that school to make up to 60,000 bucks and the problem now is they're leaving the schools, they're not there, we're short about a million-and-a-half teachers, a million-and-a-quarter teachers.

Number two, every three and four and five-year-old will go to school; school not daycare, school. And all the great universities including the one you've gone to, go to or went to, in fact talks about in the last eight years what's happened, what happens when you let them go to school they make up rapidly whatever shortcoming they had in terms of their education prior to that. They've not heard as many words spoken, etc., etc.

What happens is that the studies show that 58 percent will increase by 58 percent their chance of going all through 12 years of school and going through successfully. We'll also provide for the ability to bring in social workers and school psychologists. We have one school psychologist in America now for every 1507 kids; it should be one to 500, not just in schools that are poor but in all schools because we learn that for example drug abuse doesn't cause mental illness; mental illness cause drug abuse. But failure to get hold of people and deal with their anxieties.

In addition to that I'd provide for $70 billion for HBCUs for them to be able to have the wherewithal to do what other universities can do because they don't have the kind of foundational support they need and so that would allow them for example like we did in our administration, the president allowed me to go down and we awarded a cybersecurity laboratory, ability to compete for a cybersecurity laboratory. The federal government spends billions of dollars a year on universities because they are the best kept secret or where most of the major inventions come out of and so that school now will be able to produce young Black women and men who are going to go into a field of the future that's burgeoning; cybersecurity. And that's what's going to help a great deal.

In addition to that if you're a young man about to graduate and you've graduated from school and you want to own your first home and you're, well it's awful hard to get the money and depending on the background, excuse me, your economic background is to get a downpayment so we're going to guarantee first-time home buyers a $15,000 downpayment for first-time home buyers.

In addition to that, what all the studies now show and I've been arguing this for a long time is young Black entrepreneurs are just as successful as white entrepreneurs or anyone else, given a shot. But you can't get the money. Where do you go to get the startup money? So what President Obama and I did, we had a program, we took $1,500,000,000 and we invested it in all the SBAs around the country, in the state SBAs, Small Business Associations and that generated, $30 billion came off the sideline because if you have a guarantee of $200,000 for your new startup enterprise, you're an entrepreneur, you're going to be able to attract if it's government money, there's a guarantee you'll be to attract another $100,000. It generated $30 billion.

Now I'm changing that program and I'll get this done without much trouble I believe in the Congress from $1.5 billion to 30 billion. That'll take $300 billion off the sideline and grow because you know and for example if you in fact and I were the same age and we split our differences and we were the same age and we went to the same builder to buy us each the same home but my home was in a white neighborhood on one side of a highway and yours is in a Black neighborhood; same exact home. Your home will start off being valued 29 percent less than my home, yet your insurance for that home will be higher. You'll be taxed more for it.

We've got to end this. That's what got me involved in politics in the first place; a thing called "redlining." We can change so much and we can do so much to change the circumstances to give people a real opportunity --




I said did you hear what you needed to hear?

HUMPHREY: I think so.

BIDEN: Well there's a lot more if you want to, if you're going to hang out afterwards I'll tell you more.



BIDEN: But I really mean it. It is the key. Look, this is the way every other, how do most, like my dad, he lost his job up in Scranton and it took him three years to be able -- he moved down to Delaware to Claymont (inaudible), a little steel town. And sent us home to our grandpop to live with him.

We finally got back, we lived in apartments. Became Section 8 housing much later, it wasn't -- it was just normal apartments. But it took him five years to be able to buy a home.

Well, we bought a three-bedroom home with four kids and a grandpop living with us but it accumulated wealth. You built up wealth.

That's how middle-class folks make it. They build up wealth.

Then he was able to borrow a little against that to be able to help get us to get to school, those kinds of things.

It's about accumulating wealth. And it's very -- you're behind an eight ball. The vast majority of people of color are behind an eight ball.

And it's the same way what's going on now with all this money that's been voted.

What's happened? You got the bank, if you're a Black business man, and I -- and the president fired the only inspector general to oversee all this help coming from the congress. And what happens?

You go in and they say oh, do you have an account here? No. Do you have a credit card? No. Have you borrowed from us before? No.

We bailed these suckers out. They're not liable for any of the money but they still won't lend it to you. We've got to change that.

It's about accumulating wealth.
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