Actress Kerry Washington, while emceeing the virtual Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, said “the Black community in this country is hugely diverse” – only weeks after Democratic nominee Joe Biden had to stroll back remarks on the topic.
Before airing a pre-taped segment tending to immigration, Washington started by telling watchers the following subject is “close to my heart.”
“The Black community in this country is hugely diverse,” Washington said. “On my father’s side, I’m descended from African Americans who came from slave ships that landed in South Carolina and who were part of the great migration north that has played such a defining role in who we are as a nation. On my mother’s side, my grandparents came here as immigrants, part of a rich history that has also defined America. They immigrated to this country from the West Indies through Ellis Island in the 1920s.”
Nonetheless, a few eyewitnesses made an association between her comments and comments Biden made earlier this month.
“Kerry Washington just did a segment at the DNC on how diverse the black community is, in a brutal subtweet of Democratic nominee Joe Biden,” Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy reacted.
GOP rapid response director Steve Guest made a comparable association, comparing her comments to the previous vice president’s.
Biden caused a stir over comments he made during an interview that disclosed at the show of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).
In the full released interview, Biden differentiated the Black and Latino communities, saying “unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.”
Soon thereafter, Biden repeated those comments while talking for virtually to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials conference. In that appearance, he promised that whenever chose, his organization will reflect “the full diversity of this nation” as well as “the full diversity of the Latino communities.”
“Now what I mean [by] full diversity [is] unlike the African American community and many other communities, you’re from everywhere,” Biden explained. “You’re from Europe, from the tip of South America, all the way to our border in Mexico, and the Caribbean. And [of] different backgrounds, different ethnicities, but all Latinos. We’re gonna get a chance to do that if we win in November.”
Following critical backlash, Biden walked back his comments, offering an explanation on Twitter.
“Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.
“Throughout my career,” he continued, “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. My commitment to you is this: I will always listen, I will never stop fighting for the African American community and I will never stop fighting for a more equitable future.”