Joe Biden criticized President Donald Trump on Tuesday for fanning “the flames of hate,” and called on Congress not to wait until a new president is elected to address systemic racism and police brutality as protests continue to sweep the nation.
Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, decried Trump’s leadership of a country beset by three crises – the coronavirus pandemic, the recession and protests over racial inequities that have often turned violent.
“The country is crying out for leadership,” Biden said in his speech from Philadelphia City Hall. “Leadership that can unite us. Leadership that can bring us together. Leadership that can recognize the pain and deep grief of communities that have had a knee on their neck for too long.”
Biden said there should be “no more excuses, no delays” in addressing the racial inequalities underlying the protests convulsing the nation. He said Congress should pass a ban on police chokeholds, prevent military surplus equipment from flowing to police departments and improve oversight. If elected, he said, he would set up a national police oversight commission in his first 100 days.
But the former vice president acknowledged that change would take time, and he refused to promise that he could get it done in the traditional campaign yardstick of 100 days or even a full presidential term.
(c) 2020, Bloomberg · Tyler Pager