A panel of journalists representing the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists conducted the interview by video as part of the official programming for their joint convention that started today. AJC Washington correspondent Tia Mitchell was one of the participants.
The organizations also invited the president to sit down for a video interview, but he never committed.
During a 45-minute conversation, Biden answered questions about the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic, criminal justice and immigration laws. He also spoke about the one-year anniversary of the deadly mass shooting targeting Latinos in El Paso, Texas, and why he believes the country is ready to address systemic racism.
Biden said white supremacists are a minority in the country and those who try to sow hate should be prosecuted. He also blamed the Trump presidency for contributing to division.
“When a president breathes oxygen under the rocks, he pulls them out. He legitimizes them,” Biden said. “They make up a significant minority of the American public, but left unattended they grow and they cause great damage. And that’s why we have to make sure we do a whole range of things. But there’s a lot of things we’re going to do because for the first time you have over 70% of the American people concluding that ‘black lives matter.’ ”
The full interview will be available online at 8 a.m. Thursday. Watch it here.