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Biden apologizes for comments on racial diversity among Black people


WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden apologized late Thursday for comments he made earlier in the day that suggested that the African American community was not diverse.

“In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith — not by identity, not on issues, not at all,” Biden said in a series of tweets.

In an interview with Black and Latino journalists published early Thursday, Biden said that “unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things.”

Biden enjoyed strong support from Black voters during the Democratic primary season, and Black voters overwhelmingly tell pollsters they will not vote for President Donald Trump in November. But Biden needs to keep momentum among those key Democratic voters ahead of the general election and has been accused by Republicans of taking their votes for granted.

A Biden adviser explained his comments as being about the diversity of political views among Latinos. But later Thursday during a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference, he promised his administration would reflect “the full diversity of Latino communities.”

He explained that by “full diversity” he meant that “unlike the African American community and many other communities, you’re from everywhere — from Europe, from the tip of South America, all the way to our border in Mexico, and in the Caribbean. And different backgrounds, different ethnicities. But all Latinos.”

“Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community. It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place,” Biden said in his apology tweets.

He also committed that he “will always listen, I will never stop fighting for the African American community and I will never stop fighting for a more equitable future.”

Story by Jennifer Epstein

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