Black Twitter expressed outrage tonight after Joe Biden equated Black people in America with the criminal justice system.
Biden made the remark during ABC's town hall event on Thursday night.
A Black male asked Biden, "Besides 'you ain't Black,' what do you have to say to young Black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that continually fails to protect them?"
Rather than discuss his views on police reform, Biden saw a Black man standing there and immediately equated him with the criminal justice system and being poor.
"In addition to dealing with the criminal justice system to make it fair and make it more decent, we have to be able to put Black Americans in a position to be able to gain wealth," Biden said.
Black viewers were understandably upset. One man wrote: "WOW, a black man asks why Joe is worthy of his vote and the FIRST thing Joe mentions is criminal justice system? He just lost my vote."
Another user wrote: "He must have forgotten about his crime bill in 1994 that has sent more black men to prison than all previous crime bills combined."
And a third wrote: "Criminal justice system? Black wealth? So when he thinks of black folks, he thinks poor and criminal... ouch."
Biden's full response to the question is below.
Asked by a black voter why he should support him, @JoeBiden cites reforming the “criminal justice system” to make it “more fair and decent,” then proposes adding mental health counselors to inner city schools. pic.twitter.com/GH5lWoHZU0
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 16, 2020
@JoeBiden Hey Joe, you have been a "closet racist" your entire life.That is one reason why you wrote the 1994 "tough on crime" bill which incarcerated thousands of African-Americans.President Trump signed the Criminal Justice Reform Bill that overturned your racist bill in 2018
— Jason Suzuki (@JasonSuzuki15) October 16, 2020
For 8 years you and oBAMA never even attempted to do criminal justice reform.
Trump did it in 2 years. FACT.
Add another lie into your bucket of lies that are adding up.
— Kelly?? #??4??5???? (@kelly_kov) October 16, 2020
You improved the criminal justice system against blacks. What have you done for blacks in the past
— Keith Wenzel (@stowdynoman) October 16, 2020
When you say improve the criminal justice system, are you referring to the crime bill that put so many black men behind bars?
— christine skepton (@pinkpetunias) October 16, 2020