President Biden said Wednesday that parts of United States are “backsliding” into the Jim Crow era, alleging that the voter integrity laws being passed throughout the nation are comparable to when African Americans were made to perform impossible tasks in order to cast their ballot.
The commander-in-chief made the remarks at a virtual conference for Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s annual convention, during which he largely focused on the state of civil rights and racial equality.
Biden recently compared Georgia’s new voter integrity law to Jim Crow, which caused him to run afoul of fact-checkers for repeatedly misdescribing the legislation’s details.
“This organization has always been an essential voice, but never more essential than it is today. Upholding and advancing the security and prosperity of health and well-being, dignity, possibilities of all Black Americans,” Biden told the NAN attendees.
“It’s at a time when the pandemic and the economic crisis continue to devastate Black communities, at a time when the cry for justice for a hundred years in the making is ringing out across our nation,” he continued, calling such things “un-American.”
“[P]arts of our country are backsliding. The days of Jim Crow, passing laws that harken back to the era of poll taxes, when Black people were made to guess how many beans – how many jelly beans in a jar, or count the number of bubbles in a bar of soap before they could cast their ballot.”
President Joe Biden had recently compared Georgia’s new election law to Jim Crow. Andrew Harnik, Pool/AP
His remarks Wednesday are just the latest from the president amid controversy over protest about Georgia’s state voter law.
The legislation in question, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp late last month, overhauls election protocols in Georgia, placing new restrictions on voting by mail, requiring voter ID, and increasing legislative control over the voting process.
President Biden initially referred to the bill as “Jim Crow on steroids” the day after its signing, but went even further within days, saying he would “strongly support” moving the MLB’s mid-summer classic in protest.
But Biden was awarded “Four Pinocchios” by the Washington Post, which endorsed his candidacy, for spreading misinformation about the state law’s impact on voting hours.
The law does not alter Election Day hours but expands early voting by adding a second mandatory Saturday. It also affirms that counties have the option of opening two Sundays and allows counties to extend early voting hours beyond standard business hours.
Within two days of the corporate and Democratic pressure campaign endorsed by the president, the MLB said it was pulling its mid-summer classic out of Atlanta to protest the law.
That move sparked backlash, given that the league opted to move its game from a city with a large population of minorities who would benefit from the business. It moved it to Denver, Colo., with a significantly lower minority population and even tighter voting laws than Georgia’s.