Skip to content

‘Institutional Racism’ Holds Blacks Back, Biden Warns

VP says minorities 'lag way behind' whites in feeling the economic recovery

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said at a conference in Washington that African-Americans and Hispanics "lag way behind their white counterparts." (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said at a conference in Washington that African-Americans and Hispanics "lag way behind their white counterparts." (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Racism remains an economic anchor that holds back African-Americans and other minority groups, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Thursday.  

The still-sluggish economic recovery overseen by the Obama administration has benefited whites more than blacks and Hispanics, Biden told a National Urban League conference in Washington. And he said “institutional racism” is a big reason why.  

“Despite our successes, the recovery hasn’t been equally shared,” Biden said of his and President Barack Obama’s seven years of economic stewardship . “We’ve come a long way, but more has to be done.”  


[Bromance? Biden Expresses ‘Love’ for Boehner]

He said African-Americans and Hispanics economically “lag way behind their white counterparts,” pointing out that the collective wealth of white families is seven times that of African-American families.  

Over half of black children who are born poor stay poor, a rate he said is “double” that of poor white kids. And it is “destructive” to minority families and communities that many non-whites are unable to obtain mortgages, Biden said.   

He singled out “institutional racism … that most people don’t even see” as the root cause, arguing it often is baked into American society.  


[Boehner: Biden Could Step in if Email Scandal Forces Clinton Out]

“We’re only slowly beginning to acknowledge it,” he said, making “no apologies” for highlighting the issue.  

“Sometimes it’s uncomfortable” to talk about racism, Biden acknowledged, “but these are uncomfortable times.”  

African-Americans and other minority groups “are capable of doing extraordinary things,” Biden said, urging others to “just give them a shot.”  

Contact Bennett at johnbennett@cqrollcall.com. Follow him on Twitter @BennettJohnT.

Recent Stories

Trump endorsement question hangs over Nevada Senate race

Trump griped about trial but did not use holiday to hit multiple swing states

It’s past time to retire covering rallies as signs of momentum

‘Ready for the fight’: After narrow loss in 2022, Logan aims for Hayes’ Connecticut House seat

Strange things are afoot at the Capitol

Photos of the week ending May 24, 2024