Biden vs. Biden on 'Is America a Racist Country?'
"Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country."
So declared Sen. Tim Scott, a Black Republican, in his televised rebuttal to Joe Biden's address to Congress.
Asked the next day what he thought of Scott's statement, Biden said he agrees. "No, I don't think the American people are racist."
Vice President Kamala Harris also agreed with Scott, "No, I don't think America is a racist country."
What makes these rejections of the charge of racism against America significant is that Biden and Harris both seemed to say the opposite after Derek Chauvin was convicted.
Biden had called George Floyd's death "a murder (that) ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism... that is a stain on our nation's soul."
Harris had said much the same: "America has a long history of systemic racism. Black Americans -- and Black men, in particular -- have been treated throughout the course of our history as less than human."
But which is the predominant view of Biden and Harris about the moral character of the country they were elected to lead?
Is it a vicious slander, as Scott implied, to call America a "racist country"? Or is America's soul, as Biden and Harris said, so stained by "systemic racism" that this country has treated Black Americans "as less than human" for the 400 years of her existence.
Has America been a curse for the 40 million Black people whose numbers have multiplied 10-fold since the abolition of slavery in 1865, and whose freedoms and material prosperity have grown accordingly?