On Monday (September 5), at a Labor Day event in Pennsylvania, President Joe Biden repeated claims he was active in the civil rights movement during the 1960s, despite the story having several noticeable changes throughout the years.
Despite contradicting his self-professed engagement in the civil rights movement on at least one occasion, Biden fervently expressed, “I got very engaged — in my case — in the civil rights movement.”
He continued, “As a kid, I worked a lot in the movement.”
But Biden’s level of involvement in the civil rights movement has changed with every retelling.
At a White House event last year, Biden said, “I came out of the civil rights movement.”
During a town hall with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a year earlier, Biden said he was involved in the desegregation of restaurants.
But when he ran for President in 1987, Biden limited his involvement in the Civil rights movement to working at an all-Black swimming pool.
During a speech in 1987, he said, “During the ’60s, I was, in fact, very concerned about the civil rights movement,” adding, “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.”
He clarified that he “was not out marching,” not down in Selma,” and he “was not anywhere else” besides the pool.
That same year, the Miami Herald, reported Biden had admitted he was “never an activist” and that the Vietnam War wasn’t a significant issue when he was in college.
The Miami Herald quoted him as saying, “I was a middle-class kid in a sports coat.”
Biden’s presence at a walkout in a segregationist restaurant was also severely limited in scope.
According to an account of the incident given by Frank Hutchins, the Black student denied service during the incident, Biden was “oblivious” about the situation.
Biden’s claims he had been arrested after participating in a protest were also proven false.