Cedric Humphrey, a black voter from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, asked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden what reason he could give to young black voters to cast a ballot for him instead of staying home on Election Day.
“Many people believe the true swing demographic in this election under the age of 30, not because they will be voting for Trump, but because they won’t be voting at all,” Humphrey said. “So my question for you is, besides ‘you ain’t black,’ what do you have to say to young black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that continually fails to protect them?”
Biden cited the need to ensure black Americans can generate wealth, and promised he would “provide $70 billion for HBCUs for them to be able to have the wherewithal to do what other universities can do because they don’t have the kind of foundational support they need.”
ABC Moderator George Stephanopoulos did not interrupt to mention the fact that President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill in 2019 to permanently provide more than $250 million in annual funding to the nation’s historically black colleges and universities.
Biden also answered Humphrey’s question by touting his passion for the criminal justice system, to “make it fair and make it more decent.”
The Biden campaign’s criminal justice platform is part of a major effort to distance the Democratic candidate from the 1994 crime bill he sponsored as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 2019, Democratic rival Sen. Cory Booker called Biden the “architect of mass incarceration.”
“We have 5 percent of the global population but 25 percent of the world’s prison population,” Booker said to the Washington Examiner. “For [Biden] to not have a more comprehensive, bold plan to deal with this is unacceptable to me, especially because he is partly responsible for the crisis that we have.”