Cornel West Says Joe Biden Has 'Blood On His Hands'

Cornel West speaks at an event.
Gettyimages | Drew Angerer
US Politics

During a Tuesday appearance on the Mehdi Hasan Show, Harvard Divinity School philosophy professor Cornel West took aim at President Joe Biden in the wake of the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin.

As reported by Breitbart, West took aim at Biden's role in the mass incarceration of Americans due to his creation of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

“[Biden’s] done some wonderful things in terms of relief deals and infrastructure and Yemen and Afghanistan, but you know he’s got blood on his hands when it comes to being one of the architects of mass incarceration."

West Noted Biden's Infamous 'Predator' Comment

West pointed to Biden's previous "predator" comment, which he made in a 1993 speech one year before the crime bill would be signed into law.

As reported by CNN, Biden warned that such predators must be separated from the rest of society and suggested that America does not have the capacity to rehabilitate them.

According to West, Biden was speaking of people like him and George Floyd.

“Well, you see that cheapened black life,” West said of the comment.

“That has contributed to the attitude of some of the police.”

West Believes That Biden Can Change

Joe Biden stands in front of the Seal of the President of the United States.
Gettyimages | Chip Somodevilla

Despite his harsh criticism of Biden's legacy, West expressed hope that the U.S. leader can change.

“He can change, that’s true,” he said. “[Former President] LBJ [Lyndon Baines Johnson] changed. White supremacists from Jim Crow Texas became a major force for good against white supremacy. I hope brother Biden does what LBJ did.”

Still, West noted that the criminal justice system was not reformed under President Barack Obama — the first Black president — when Biden served as vice president.

"So we’ll have to see if he follows through.” the professor said.

Biden Has Expressed Concern About American Criminal Justice & Policing

As noted by Breitbart, Biden expressed concern about the American criminal justice and policing systems earlier on Tuesday after the verdict in the Chauvin trial.

Biden expressed his belief that Floyd was murdered and suggested that the incident revealed the systemic racism present in America.

Per The New York Post, Biden praised the guilty verdict against Chauvin and called for the passing of the Democratic police reform legislation that was named after Floyd.

Biden's vice president, Kamala Harris, also made comments on Tuesday that took aim at the purported systemic racism in the United States

West Has Been Vocally Critical Of Biden

Although West voted for Biden over Donald Trump, he has been openly critical of the Democrat.

As reported by The Daily Pennsylvanian, West called Biden a "mediocre, milquetoast neoliberal centrist." Nevertheless, he suggested that voting for Trump was tantamount to supporting a fascist and contended that voting for Biden was the best course of action.

West was supportive of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary — he joined him on the campaign trail — until he was defeated by Biden for the party's nomination.