In a joint speech delivered from the White House Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris responded to the guilty verdict reached in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Speaking first, Vice President Harris remarked that "Today we feel a sigh of relief," adding that "a measure of justice isn't the same as equal justice," before stating "we still must reform the system."
Vice President Harris urges Senate to pass George Floyd Justice in Policing Act following Chauvin's conviction: "A measure of justice isn't the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer, and the fact is, we still have work to do. We still must reform the system" pic.twitter.com/1qlHQINi7k— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 20, 2021
And Vice President Harris knows the system. The former San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general had her record within the system laid bare by then-Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a 2020 Democratic primary debate.
Failing to mention her own work on behalf of the system, Harris invoked her work on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, alongside Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA).
"America has a long history of systemic racism," stated Harris. "Black Americans and black men, in particular, have been treated throughout the course of our history as less than human."
Criminal justice reform is, of course, a relatively new pastime for the Vice President. Not so long ago, the New York Times called out her less than stellar track record on the topic:
"Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent. Most troubling, Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors."
"It is a problem for every American," said Harris of systemic racism, to which she was—until recently—at least a front-row witness. "It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all, and it is holding our nation back from realizing our full potential."
Sort of like the full potential she watched the system hold back from those whose wrongful convictions she fought to uphold.
President Biden echoed Harris' and the Left's claims, saying that the murder of George Floyd "ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism" that "is a stain on our nation's soul."
"It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see"— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 20, 2021
US President Joe Biden reacts to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd https://t.co/GXjleq8spO pic.twitter.com/oAhogiO4hq
For those keeping score at home, President Biden was previously Vice President Biden—for eight years—and Senator Biden—for more than 35 years—before that. What did more than four decades of Biden leadership in America do to reform the stain of systemic racism he says our nation is marred by?
The 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, called the "1994 Biden Crime Bill" by none other than our current President, is perhaps his most notable contribution to America's criminal justice system. The Biden Crime Bill—which he would later claim he "got stuck" authoring when political winds changed and he needed to distance himself from the eponymous legislation—mandated life sentences for violent felons who had more than two prior convictions, allocated piles of cash to build billions of dollars worth of prisons, and made being in a gang a crime.
Already working to revise history, Biden declared that "the murder of George Floyd launched a summer of protests." Yes, there were some peaceful, lawful protests. But there were also violent riots. Innocent police officers were killed. Major cities saw their most violent days in half a century. The looting and violence were committed under the same banner Biden and Harris waved from a White House podium Tuesday night, but as Larry Elder outlined in detail here at the outset of last year's unrest, "Recent studies not only find no 'systemic' abuse of black suspects by the cops, but if anything, cops are more hesitant, more reluctant, to use deadly force against a black suspect than against a white suspect."
Near the end of his remarks in one of a few passages that rang true, President Biden paid lip service to the police officers he moments earlier accused of being infected by systemic racism, saying "most men and women who wear the badge serve their communities honorably, but those few who fail to meet that standard must be held accountable."
Never letting a crisis go to waste, Biden launched into a call to action, saying the Chauvin verdict is "not enough." This requires "acknowledging and confronting head-on systemic racism and the racial disparities that exist in policing and in our criminal justice system more broadly," according to the President who contributed significantly to the criminal justice system that exists in America today.
"Only then," explained Biden in calling for America to go along with his administration's legislative agenda, "will full justice and full equality be delivered to all Americans."