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Joe Biden Defended KKK-Linked Confederate Group as ‘Many Fine People’
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Biden once called Confederate heritage group ‘fine people’
By: Gregg Re, Fox news, June 16, 2020:
A recently resurfaced video clip shows Joe Biden calling members of a Confederate heritage group “fine people” in 1993 — nearly mirroring President Trump’s 2017 remarks that some protesters opposing the removal of Confederate statues in Charlottesville, Va., were “very fine people.”
Biden declared his 2020 presidential candidacy last year by charging that Trump, in those controversial comments made after white supremacists also joined those protests, had “assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.” Although Trump noted at the time that he was “not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned totally,” Democrats and some top Republicans criticized him for not speaking out more forcefully from the start.
However, speaking at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on July 22, 1993, during the confirmation process for Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Biden himself offered something of a positive endorsement for the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), which has been linked to the Ku Klux Klan.
“I, too, heard that speech and, for the public listening to this, the senator made a very moving and eloquent speech,” Biden said, referring to remarks by then-Alabama Democratic Sen. Howell Thomas Heflin. “As a son of the Confederacy, acknowledging that it was time to change and yield to a position that Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun raised on the Senate floor, not granting a federal charter to an organization made up of many fine people who continue to display the Confederate flag as a symbol.”
That was a reference to Moseley-Braun remarks earlier in the day concerning the UDP, an organization that Salon has reported “keeps Confederate statues standing and spreads lies about America’s history of slavery.”
“[S]ince the UDC was founded in 1894, it has maintained a covert connection with the Ku Klux Klan,” Heidi Christensen, the former president of the Seattle chapter of the UDC, told Salon. “In fact, in many ways, the group was the de facto women’s auxiliary of the KKK at the turn of the century. It’s a connection the group downplays now, but evidence of it is easily discoverable — you don’t even have to look very hard to find it.”
Salon noted that the UDC has published pro-KKK books and established pro-KKK monuments.
“Every clubhouse of the United Daughters of the Confederacy should have a memorial tablet dedicated to the Ku Klux Klan; that would be a monument not to one man, but to five hundred and fifty thousand men, to whom all Southerners owe a debt of gratitude,” wrote Annie Cooper Burton, then the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the UDC, in a 1916 publication.
In his speech at the Ginsburg hearing, Biden went on to note that he went into public office to further the cause of “civil rights,” and said the organization’s behavior had “nothing to do” with the First Amendment.
After Biden spoke, the Judiciary Committee refused to renew a design patent for the UDC’s insignia, by a 12-3 vote. The patent had come up for reauthorization every 14 years since the UDC was founded in 1894, and had unanimously been approved each time, The Washington Times reported.
Reached for comment by Fox News, the Biden campaign pointed to tweet from its rapid response director, Andrew Bates.
“You don’t want to bring up the phrase ‘fine people’ in any context,” Bates said, responding to the Trump campaign’s post including the video of Biden’s remarks.
Bates appended a statement from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemning Trump for not standing up to “bigotry and hate” in Charlottesville.
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