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LETTER: Columnist makes mountains out of mole hills regarding Joe Biden

Updated August 11, 2020 - 10:15 pm

Larry Elder devoted almost an entire column to debunking Joe Biden’s claim that he was arrested in South Africa in the 1970s (Aug. 5 Review-Journal). Mr. Elder is correct that Mr. Biden was not arrested in that incident some 45 years ago. Mr. Biden was traveling with an integrated group of U.S. officials in South Africa when police stopped him and separated him from that group, not allowing a white man to travel with a group of Black men. Forty-five years later, Mr. Biden inappropriately conflated that interaction from a police stoppage into an arrest.

Should Mr. Biden be called out for that error? Absolutely. Should it be labeled a “condescending lie.” Not in my opinion.

Mr. Elder also points out that Mr. Biden has claimed that some 60 years ago he participated in demonstrations against segregation in Wilmington, Delaware. There is no way to prove or disprove that claim. Mr. Elder just assumes that it is not true and labels it a “condescending lie.”

The Washington Post caught Mr. Trump telling more than 20,000 lies or “mistruths.” How many of those has Mr. Elder devoted a column to? Mr. Trump has used not so subtle dog-whistles to appeal to white racist groups. Has Mr. Elder devoted any columns to those?

Mr. Elder’s column is an opinion piece, so he is entitled to his opinion. He believes that Mr. Biden’s memory of being stopped by the police 45 years ago as being an “arrest” is a “condescending lie.” It is my opinion that Mr. Trump’s daily lies about topics that are current are much more relevant and should be on the minds of all voters independent of race.

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