Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that busing to achieve school integration would lead to his children being raised in a “racial jungle.”
Biden, who has recently come under fire for praising segregationists, appears to have made the comments during a Senate committee hearing in 1977 while debating a busing measure. At the time, Biden was a first term Senator facing tough reelection prospects in his home state of Delaware, where the issue of busing was particular contentious.
“Unless we do something about this, my children are going to grow up in a jungle, the jungle being a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point,” Biden said shortly after making a plea for “orderly integration.” “We have got to make some move on this.”
NEW: @USCGouldLaw prof @droithmayr spotted this 1977 Biden quote. He warns that unless there is "orderly integration" (he favored housing, not busing) "My children are going to grow up in a jungle, the jungle being a racial jungle . . " w/@AsteadWesley https://t.co/yQpjw0V2bN pic.twitter.com/7xPdtqjehB
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) July 15, 2019
The remarks, first reported by the New York Times on Monday, appear to have been found by Daria Roithmayr, a professor at University of Southern California Gould School of Law. It is unclear exactly which legislation Biden’s remarks were meant to address, as there were many busing proposals floating around in 1977. Neither Roithmayr nor Biden’s campaign returned requests for comment before press time.