President Joe Biden gave a speech in Selma, Alabama last weekend in which he remarked that he was involved in the civil rights movement.
According to Fox News, Biden’s claim “remains unproven.”
What is the actual truth?
What Joe Biden Said
Joe Biden was in Alabama to visit Selma on the 58th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march – an important moment in the civil rights movement.
Here’s what Biden said: “I was a student up north in the civil rights movement. I remember feeling how guilty I was [that] I wasn’t there. How could we all be up there, and you going through what you went through.”
Fox, however, is asserting that “there is no historical evidence to support Biden’s claim.”
Well, I don’t trust Joe Biden and I don’t trust Fox, so, I’m not quite sure what to make of this one.
Joe Biden involved in the civil rights movement?
Biden has claimed before that he was involved in the civil rights movement.
In 1983, then-Senator Joe Biden claimed that he joined sit-in protests pushing for the desegregation of public spaces.
“When I was 17,” Biden said, “I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses. And my stomach turned upon hearing the voices of Faubus and Wallace. My soul raged on seeing Bull Connor and his dogs.”
Did Biden actually participate in sit-ins?
I have no idea.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he was fibbing.
That’s what politicians do; they fib.
And Biden is no different (Joe Biden even has a history of plagiarism).
So, I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that Biden was fabricating a story about sitting in during the civil rights movement of the 1960s under the assumption that no one would fact-check his story.
It’s hard to verify or concretely disprove what one guy did with one afternoon sixty years ago.
Fox News, for their part, is fairly convinced Biden is lying. “It does not appear that Biden ever participated in a sit-in,” Fox wrote.
Fox is also reporting that Biden falsely claimed he walked out of a restaurant in high school because a black student wasn’t welcome to eat at the restaurant.
The black student in question seems to have contradicted Biden’s claim, saying that Biden and all the other white students in attendance were “oblivious” to the restaurant’s policy.
“They weren’t aware of what happened,” Frank Hutchins (the student) told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1987. “I was only 16 then. It was my problem and my battle for me to work out. They were oblivious to it until later.”
Joe Biden also said, during a speech in 1987, that he was “not an activist” during the civil rights movement.
“During the ‘60s, I was, in fact, very concerned about the civil rights movement. I was not an activist. I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware. I was involved in what they were thinking, in what they were feeling.”
Of course, Biden could well have participated in a sit-in, as Fox is claiming he did not, without being an activist; that Biden was, by his own admission, “not an activist” does not mean he did not participate in a sit-in.
So, while I’m completely receptive to the idea that Biden did not sit-in as he said he did, and I’m completely receptive to the idea that Biden is full of it, I know that Fox News is, at minimum, misleading.
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Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.