Former Vice President Joe Biden made race a central theme of his July Fourth message as the country grapples with widespread unrest over systemic racism and police brutality.
Speaking to the camera interspersed with video of past civil rights struggles, Biden said the country has not lived up to its creed — noting centuries of racism, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the killing of George Floyd in May — but that the U.S. is primed for a change.
“Our country was founded on an idea: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ We’ve never lived up to it. Jefferson himself didn’t. He held slaves. Women were excluded. But once proposed, it was an idea that couldn’t be restrained,” he said. “Through it all, these words have gnawed at our conscience and pulled us towards justice.”