Did Joe Biden say "The reason I was able to stay home during the pandemic is because some Black woman was able to keep the grocery shelves stocked?" Yes, that is true, but in its context it's clear Biden was praising, not demeaning Black people. On the full video, Democratic nominee Biden said Americans have realized that Black and Latino people helped them during the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said is a starting point for reconciliation.
The claim appeared as a post (archived here) where it was published on Facebook on October 5, 2020. It opened:
Joe Biden "The reason I was able to stay home during the pandemic is because Black women were able to keep the grocery shelves stocked."Straight racist imagine if Trump said this? SMH
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Oct 6 21:58:47 2020 UTC)
On September 15, 2020, Biden was speaking to a group of veterans in Tampa, Florida, PBS reported. The roundtable discussion covered the issues facing the group, including COVID-19 and other hardships, but he said he was optimistic about the future.
This tweet shows the clipped video remark.
Biden: 'I Was Able to Stay Sequestered' Thanks to 'Some Black Woman' Who Stocked Grocery Shelves pic.twitter.com/raalFcUNKF-- TheLeoTerrell (@TheLeoTerrell) October 6, 2020
The videos that have gone viral are only showing the brief 11 seconds where Biden made the comment, not the longer portion before and after in his remarks during the roundtable discussion that ran for more than an hour. CSPAN hosts a longer video of Biden's remarks in which he says he believes the American people recognize how minorities have helped them during the pandemic.
The more complete remarks, with the singled-out portion highlighted in bold by Lead Stories, are in the transcript from the CSPAN video:
I am, ironically, more optimistic about the prospects of dealing with the problems we talked about today, as well as so many other problems we have right now, than I have ever been in my whole career. And you say, 'Why in the hell would you say that, Biden? You just talked about all these difficulties.' Well, I'll tell you why. Because the American public, the blinders have been taken off. They've all of a sudden seen a hell of a lot clearer. They are saying: 'Jeez, the reason I was able to stay sequestered in my home is because some Black woman was able to stack the grocery shelf, or I got a young Hispanic out there, or these dreamers out there, 60,000 of them, acting as first responders and nurses and docs.' Or, all of a sudden people are realizing, my lord these people have done so much -- not just black, white but across the board -- have done so much for me. We can do this. We can get things done. And I think they're ready and the irony of all ironies is that I think it's the vehicle by which we're going to be able to create really good paying jobs. We're going to be able to provide for significant health care. The idea that in the middle of a pandemic -- the worst thing since the great flu back at the turn of the century, where so many people died worldwide -- is that people, you know, people are figuring out that we are all in this together. We can get through this if we just level with one another. Just tell the truth. Let people know."