President Biden spoke at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta yesterday in advance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In his remarks, the president spoke of democracy and voting rights, drawing parallels between his administration’s domestic agenda and Dr. King’s civil rights mission. The president called the present moment in history “the time of choosing,” between “democracy over autocracy,” “community over chaos,” and “love over hate.” In other words, he gave a thinly disguised partisan speech promoting antipathy toward his domestic political opponents as evil. That’s the meaning of “love over hate.”
I can’t find the text of the speech online at the White House site or anywhere else. C-SPAN has posted video of the speech here. Biden’s remarks begin at 4:20 of the video. Biden struggles unsuccessfully to pronounce the name of “our Supreme Court justice” Ketanji Brown Jackson at 21:00 of the video.
Ebenezer was of course King’s home base. Senator Raphael Warnock is the church’s current pastor. Warnock invited Biden to give the sermon on what would have been King’s 94th birthday. From King to Warnock is the kind of regression that gives new meaning to the lament of the ghost of Hamlet’s father — “what a falling-off was there!”
Biden’s speech puts me in mind of the title of Abbie Hoffman’s Revolution For the Hell of It. Does anyone believe the heroic self-portrait he paints as he walks down memory lane? And yet he persists. At this point he might be lying for the hell of it. It is certainly not a function of old age. He is a bald and inveterate liar — an Oops! I did it again kind of guy.
Right at the top of his remarks, before he turned to his text, Biden asserted: “Let’s lay one thing to rest. I may be a practicing Catholic, but [I] used to go to 7:30 Mass every morning in high school and then in college before I went to the Black church,” Biden said. “Not a joke, [former Ambassador] Andy [Young] knows this.” And so on.
“Andy, it’s so great to see you, man,” Biden continued “You’re one of the greatest we’ve ever had. Andy and I took on apartheid in South Africa and a whole lot else. They didn’t want to see him coming. But we used to – that’s when we would organize to march and to desegregate the city.”
Biden’s claim of attendance at “the Black church” (i.e., the Union Baptist Church in Wilmington) was a staple of his huckstering during the 2020 presidential campaign along with his fabricated arrest in South Africa. Alana Goodman looked into Biden’s claim of attendance at “the Black church” for the Washington Free Beacon in October 2020. She could find no evidence that he had. Not surprisingly, “[t]he Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment.”
Goodman’s excellent 2020 story is linked in Jessica Chasmar’s current FOX News report “Biden repeats questionable claim he frequented Black church during civil rights movement” on yesterday’s speech. Toward the bottom of her story Chasmar adds a useful quote from Biden himself:
Biden also acknowledged in the 1980s that he was not a civil rights activist and never marched during the movement.
“During the ’60s, I was, in fact, very concerned about the civil rights movement,” Biden, who was running for president at the time, said during a speech in 1987. “I was not an activist. I worked at an all-Black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware. I was involved in what they were thinking, in what they were feeling.”
“But I was not out marching, I was not down in Selma,” he continued. “I was not anywhere else.”
Corn Pop could not be reached for comment.