Fact Check: Clip From 1993 Speech Does NOT Prove 'What Biden Really Thinks About Black Americans' -- He Doesn't Mention Race

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Clip From 1993 Speech Does NOT Prove 'What Biden Really Thinks About Black Americans' -- He Doesn't Mention Race Not Mentioned

Does a video of then-Sen. Joe Biden saying that the upbringing and background of future criminals does not matter show "what Biden really thinks about Black Americans"? No, that's not true: Biden did not mention race when he made a Senate speech some 27 years ago in support of a crime bill. There is no reference to race in the video clip posted with the claim.

The claim appeared in an Instagram post (archived here) where it was published by Charlie Kirk on March 14, 2021, with the caption "But at least he doesn't Tweet mean things, right?" The video had the following text pasted to it:


This is what the post looked like at the time of writing:

Biden, then chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made remarks in mid-November of 1993 in a speech in support of The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The following is a fuller excerpt of what he was saying in the speech clipped for the Instagram post:

It doesn't matter whether or not the person that is accosting your son or daughter, or my son or daughter, my wife, your husband, my mother, your parents -- it doesn't matter whether or not they were deprived as a youth. It doesn't matter or not whether or not they had no background that enabled them to become socialized into the fabric of society. It doesn't matter whether or not they're the victims of society. The end result is they're about to knock my mother on the head with a lead pipe, shoot my sister, beat up my wife, take on my sons -- so I don't want to ask what made them do this. They must be taken off the street. That's number one. There's a consensus on that.

Unless we do something about that cadre of young people, tens of thousands of them, born out of wedlock, without parents, without supervision, without any structure, without any conscience developing, because they literally have not been socialized, they literally have not had an opportunity ... we should focus on them now. If we don't, they will -- or a portion of them will -- become the predators fifteen years from now, and Madam President, we have predators on our streets that society has in fact in part because of [our] neglect created.

Biden's remarks in 1993 in support of the crime bill have been the source of misinformation before, including the false claim that Biden called Black Americans "super predators."

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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