Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday bashed Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden for citing a notoriously racist Southern senator while touting his ability to work with lawmakers he disagrees with.
“It’s 2019 & @JoeBiden is longing for the good old days of ‘civility’ typified by James Eastland. Eastland thought my multiracial family should be illegal & that whites were entitled to ‘the pursuit of dead n—-rs,’” de Blasio wrote on Twitter, along with a photo of his African-American wife and their mixed-race son and daughter.
“It’s past time for apologies or evolution from @JoeBiden. He repeatedly demonstrates that he is out of step with the values of the modern Democratic Party,” Hizzoner added in a second tweet.
Biden, 76, was defending himself Tuesday against the charge that he is too “old-fashioned” for today’s Democratic Party and its ascendant progressive wing.
During a fundraiser at the Carlyle Hotel, Biden said he had served with the late Sens. Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, staunch segregationist Democrats, and was able to work with them despite their differences.
“Well guess what? At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore,” Biden said, the New York Times reported.
Biden even faked a Southern accent as he talked about Eastland.
“He never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son,’” the former veep said.
Eastland was a plantation owner and a vocal critic of integration and the civil rights movement.
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He repeatedly referred to African Americans as an “inferior race” and also used the racist term “mongrelization” about the mingling of blacks and whites.
A spokesman for Biden declined to respond to de Blasio’s tweets.
Racial issues have vexed the longtime Delaware lawmaker in the early days of his campaign, as it was revealed that in the 1970s, he opposed forced busing to desegregate schools.
He also took heat for his role in crafting the tough anti-crime bill signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
While the law had bipartisan support in Congress and from many in the black community, it has since come under fire for the disproportionately negative impact it had on African Americans.