Joe Biden ( Photo: Joe Biden for President /Flickr)

 In his virtual fundraisers in Indiana and Ohio, Joe Biden discourages violence and calls for the end of systemic racism. 



 

Joe Biden greeted over 300 guests on their screens at his Monday evening virtual fundraisers in Indiana and Ohio. Many saw a familiar sight: books lining the shelves, a peep of the American flag in the background, and Biden, dressed in red, white, and blue. The big topic of the night was the killing of George Floyd.

Biden started the evening with his Indiana fundraiser, where Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly made the introductions. In his remarks, Donnelly set the tone for the rest of the event, pointing to the strenuous time Americans find themselves in. There is Covid-19, economic hardship, and unrest stemming from the death of Floyd at the hands of a police officer. “We’ve never needed you more than we need you today, sir. And there’s so much on your shoulders. But we know how strong you are,”  Donnelly said.

In Ohio, Biden was joined by US Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. The evening progressed as a Q&A format between Brown and Biden.

Biden On Ending Systemic Racism 

After the death of Floyd, Biden released a statement calling for justice and police reform. On Monday evening, he turned his attention to the protests that have erupted from coast-to-coast, of which many have remained peaceful though some have turned into violent conflicts. 

Biden sympathizes with the protestors and applauds the anger they feel. “People are angry. I’m angry. And we need that anger to compel us to move forward to help us push through this pain and reach the other side to greater progress of equality, inclusion, and opportunity,“ he said.

To Biden, the rioting and looting across the nation have turned in “needless destruction.”

He said, “violence that endangers lives and guts local businesses is not a way forward. In my experience, the only way through grief is to turn that anguish into purpose, to take a hard look at the systemic racism that still inflicts every part of our society and work as a nation to end it.”

In Ohio, Biden spoke more about his call with the Floyd family, during which Philonise, George’s brother, asked for justice. “‘I don’t want my brother to be a hashtag on a sweatshirt,’” Philonise told Biden. 

Later on, in a reply to Rep. Joyce Beatty’s question about youth engagement, Biden said, “there is nothing more consequential to me than having this opportunity to begin to rip out the roots of systemic racism that exist across the board.”

Biden: “Who the hell is going to lead the World Health Organization without us? 

Another issue brought up during the fundraiser was COVID-19 and President Trump’s response to the pandemic. At the Indiana fundraiser, Biden vowed the nation would be better prepared for pandemics under his administration, referencing Trump’s recent decision to terminate the relationship between the U.S. and the World Health Organization.

Biden said, “Who the hell is going to lead the World Health Organization without us? Unfortunately, it’s clearer than ever what deadly mistakes Trump has made.”

In Ohio, Biden criticized Trump’s eagerness to reopen the country and for his handling of the crisis. “The way he’s handled this is extreme negligence at a minimum.”

Both events ended with optimism, as Donnelly and Greg Schultz, Ohio-native and Biden’s senior advisor, made closing remarks. Their remarks raised more than just momentum for Biden’s campaign, but a real possibility of winning over their states, echoing a sentiment Biden expressed earlier in a response to how he brings hope and opportunity to the nation. 

Biden quoted philosopher Soren Kierkegaard: “Faith sees best in the dark.”

“It’s pretty dark right now. But I have faith. I have faith in the American people,” he said.

Candy Chan

Candy Chan is studying History with a focus on War and Revolution at Barnard College. She is currently a staff writer at the Columbia Daily Spectator, covering issues pertaining to Columbia's...