Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has persistently claimed that in his formative years as a teenager he participated in the civil rights movement and spent significant time at a black church in Wilmington, Delaware, where he attended organizing sessions.
But now people who have been vital members of the Union Baptist Church say they have no recollection of Biden as a teenager at the church and that he only met the church’s pastor, Rev. Otis Herring, after Biden became an adult.
Herring’s longtime assistant Phyllis Drummond said flatly that Biden did not attend the church, asserting, “No. Not at our building. I think he was probably in Claymont, (Delaware) (or) in Pennsylvania then,” as The Washington Free Beacon reported. Juanita Matthew, a veteran attendee at the church, said she had no memory of Biden’s presence when he was a teenager, adding that Biden met Herring after Biden’s wife and daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972.
Last January, Biden spoke at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in South Carolina, where he said, “When I was a teenager in Delaware, for real, I got involved in the civil rights movement. … I’d go to 8 o’clock Mass, then I’d go to Reverend Herring’s church where we’d meet in order to organize and figure where we were going to go, whether we were going to desegregate the Rialto movie theater or what we were going to do. I got my education, for real, in the black church, and that’s not hyperbole, it’s a fact,” as the New York Post noted.
Speaking at an NAACP event in Iowa earlier in January, Biden said, “I was raised in the black church politically — not a joke. … That’s what I’m part of. That’s where my political identity comes from. And it’s the single most loyal constituency I’ve ever had,” as The New York Times reported.
Biden inventing stories to burnish his reputation seems to be a common occurrence; he has claimed he was arrested in South Africa in the 1970s when he visited Nelson Mandela. The Biden campaign later admitted that the incident never happened.
“He also claimed that he called Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic a ‘damn war criminal’ to his face during a 1993 meeting, but people in attendance said they couldn’t recall such an exchange,” The New York Post noted.
The Free Beacon pointed out, “Biden said over the summer that he had been ‘involved with the civil rights movement, the African-American community since I was a junior in high school, desegregating movie theaters.’ But Biden said previously he ‘didn’t know any black people’ until he started working at the majority-black pool in Wilmington in 1962.”