Former Vice President Joe Biden confirmed a glaring epidemic in America with a bold statement during a breakfast on Monday that paid tribute to civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Biden, who has yet to make an official announcement for his bid to run as a Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election, aimed to honor MLK's legacy by urging everyone to continue fighting against the "dark forces" that led to King's assassination on April 4, 1968.
Things have not changed much since the 60s, especially after the tragic events that unfolded after the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that claimed the life of Heather Heyer.
Biden explained that the "dark forces" phrase was from among King's last words spoken "to make America what it ought to be."
Former VP Joe Biden at MLK breakfast: "America's been made better, all the struggles many of you have endured and l… https://t.co/64wv2Y8DLC— ABC News (@ABC News)1548084041.0
"America's been made better by all the struggles many of you in this room have endured and led," said Biden.
"But we've learned the last two years it doesn't take much to awaken hate, bring those folks out from under the rocks -- part of American society that's always been there will always be there."
At the breakfast event hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, Biden said that Americans need to acknowledge that "systemic racism" still exists today.
Former VP Joe Biden at MLK breakfast: "We have a lot to root out, but most of all the systematic racism that most o… https://t.co/NWAZKEOTFe— ABC News (@ABC News)1548085064.0
"The bottom line is we have a lot to root out, but most of all the systematic racism that most of us whites don't like to acknowledge even exists," Biden said.
"We don't even consciously acknowledge it. But it's been built into every aspect of our system."
"Because when your schools are substandard, when your houses are undervalued, when your car insurance costs more for no apparent reason, when poverty rates for black Americans is still twice that of white Americans, ... there's something we have to admit."
"Not you -- we -- White America has to admit there's a still a systematic racism. And it goes almost unnoticed by so many of us."
@ABC #MLKDay @JoeBiden 2020 In 'a battle for the soul of our nation' #NoWallEver #ImpeachTheMF & END #TrumpShutdown… https://t.co/l1uUqz17sK— Maggie Aliaga-Kelly (@Maggie Aliaga-Kelly)1548086945.0
But he was also very optimistic and remembered a significant moment in his life when he was sworn in to serve the United States with Barack Obama.
"There I was, it just hit me, standing, waiting for a black man to come 28 miles from Philadelphia to pick me up and take me on a 128-mile ride to be sworn in as president and vice president United States. Don't tell me, don't tell me things can't change!"
@ReciteSocial @ABC Thank you for speaking truth— rev kim jerido (@rev kim jerido)1548126195.0
@ABC Joe, I agree with you! It’s literally written in our white DNA... it’s a feeling that being white is somehow s… https://t.co/zMVwfb9pCb— William Richards (@William Richards)1548085788.0
@ABC Awesome speech.— vernetta sims (@vernetta sims)1548087668.0
@ABC For Real! Can't have Equality, Freedom, and Justice with Racism in the Air.— Amatullah Al-Mahdi (@Amatullah Al-Mahdi)1548090303.0
This user refused to acknowledge systemic racism when there were other white people responsible for committing other atrocities, but another stressed the importance of acknowledging it being the inherent issue.
@ABC Not like we don't want to acknowledge it exists. We just don't like taking credit4 other shitty people's behav… https://t.co/zy8fC7jz90— Laf Awftn (@Laf Awftn)1548106690.0
@FrozenFirstAid @ABC No one is asking for white Americans to "take credit" for systematic racism...it just needs to… https://t.co/v2MWPVo8FG— nnicky89 (@nnicky89)1548120878.0
@nnicky891 @ABC You cannot say, "no one is asking"...You have not walked in other's shoes. I for one have had many… https://t.co/xdQ5QIXWKh— Laf Awftn (@Laf Awftn)1548121948.0
People dissected the definition for "systemic racism," sparking another debate that discrimination was not exclusive to white people.
@RayMcCue @ABC I don't object to the term 'systemic racism'. In fact...i think it's definition is what's needed to… https://t.co/BK1qkTbqaQ— Mike D (@Mike D)1548102196.0
@RayMcCue @ABC Racism is simply a function of prejudiced beliefs. Systemic racism is prejudice + power. The rocka… https://t.co/ZLLUZVNcOM— Mike D (@Mike D)1548102708.0
@RayMcCue @ABC So in order for a law to be racist it must be written and affirmed with racist intentions? If so...I… https://t.co/i8QPiLAO5I— Mike D (@Mike D)1548111429.0
@ABC Racism exist in all colors , religions and politics— Jerry Stebe (@Jerry Stebe)1548088338.0
Most generally agreed with Biden's statement and were fully onboard.
@ABC Many of us older folks were raised in a racist environment. That racism hurt everyone, not just the ones who w… https://t.co/JAtEs8wyVf— CatMom (@CatMom)1548102615.0
@ABC @MichaelRapaport Yes Mr. Biden!— P L (@P L)1548116675.0
@ABC Joe rules !! Where was Comrade Trump?— Atlas Biomechanics (@Atlas Biomechanics)1548101512.0
@ABC Wonderful message-Thank you for stating what should be so obvious, but clearly ignored from the RIGHT— donna mccune (@donna mccune)1548120886.0
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, another potential contender for the 2020 presidential bid who has not made any official announcements, attended the morning event in Washington, D.C.
Bloomberg hinted that both he and Biden are hoping to elect a Democrat back into the White House in 2020.
"Whatever the next year brings for Joe and me and I know we'll both keep our eyes on the real prize, and that is electing a Democrat to the White House in 2020, and getting our country back on track."
"I haven't had a chance yet to talk to the Vice President at length today but I did want to get some pointers from him on how it's like to live in Washington, D.C."
The 2020 campaign is already ramping up to be a compelling journey. Our eyes are wide open, and we are ready to do something about it.