House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) defended presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Friday after the candidate remarked how the Latino community is more "diverse" than the African-American community in the United States.
After widespread backlash to his comment, Biden tried to explain what he meant on his Twitter account.
Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 7, 2020
My commitment to you is this: I will always listen, I will never stop fighting for the African American community and I will never stop fighting for a more equitable future.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 7, 2020
Clyburn, an early supporter of Biden, told MSNBC Biden was simply talking about how diverse Latinos were in terms of talking about the different continents they can come from.
"The word 'diverse,' you know me real well, you know I’m sort of a stickler for the word being what it is. And what he was talking about is whether or not, what continent. You know, when you start talking to Latino-Americans, you’re talking about not just various communities and countries, you’re even talking about various continents," he said.
"The ethnicity, the diversity of the ethnicity. Most African-Americans in this country come from either the Caribbean or from Africa, in fact, our roots are basically in Africa. So all he was talking about was the diversity of not just the communities but also of the continents," he continued. "And you bring those backgrounds and those experiences into the discussion and you don’t have the same set of experiences that you would have if you didn’t have this kind of diversity in your background. So diversity could be within a community, within a state, but there is a broader diversity in his discussion and it’s more worldwide. But you don’t get a chance to explain all of that in a sound bite world."