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Former Vice President Joe Biden praised two arch segregationists that he served with in the Senate Democrat Conference for their “civility” on Tuesday.
Biden, the current 2020 Democrat front runner, told a group of donors gathered for a fundraiser at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City it was vital the next president “be able to reach consensus under our system.” To explain why he was the best candidate in that regard, Biden fondly cited his history of working with two of the Senate’s arch segregationists, the late-Sens. James Eastland (D-MS) and Herman Talmadge (D-GA).
Caucus - James - O - Eastland - Biden
“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” Biden said with an attempted Southern drawl. “He never called me boy, he always called me son.”
“Well guess what?” the former vice president continued. “At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.”
Eastland - Senator - Voice - South - Opposition
Eastland, who served as senator from 1943 to 1978, was known as the “voice of the white South” for his stringent opposition to civil rights and integration. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Eastland attempted to derail both the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Thurgood Marshall’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
In his first Senate campaign, The New York Times wrote in Eastland’s obituary, “he often appeared in Mississippi courthouse squares, promising the crowds that if elected he would stop blacks and whites from eating together in Washington. He often spoke of blacks as ‘an inferior race.'”
Biden - Senate - Battles - School - Desegregation
Biden, who joined the Senate in 1972, missed most of those battles. He did, however, arrive just as busing to achieve school desegregation was coming to the forefront. Despite opposition...
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