Back when President Joe Biden was the presumptive Democratic nominee in June 2020, he claimed George Floyd's death in Minneapolis policy custody, which sparked violent Black Lives Matter riots, had more significant "worldwide impact" than the 1968 assassination of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Biden said on June 11, 2020, while speaking at an economic roundtable discussion in Philadelphia, that "even Dr. King's assassination did not have the worldwide impact that George Floyd's death did." The social media clip of Biden's remarks on the 2020 presidential campaign trail has resurfaced on MLK Day, a federal holiday honoring the civil rights trailblazer's life and lasting legacy in America.
Biden also noted that cellphones have become a street reporting tool for everyday citizens to document footage of police brutality and mistreatment of black Americans. "It's changed the way everybody's looking at this," Biden asserted.
"Now you got how many people around the country, millions of cellphones," Biden added. "Look at the millions of people marching around the world."
Biden compared the ubiquitous use of smartphones to the uptick in the number of American households with a television decades ago during the 1960s civil rights movement and how TV reshaped views on racial inequality.
"It's just like television changed the civil rights movement for the better when they saw Bull Connor and his dogs ripping the clothes off of elderly black women going to church and fire hoses ripping the skin off of young kids," Biden declared.
Floyd, a career criminal turned modern-day saint, was lionized as a martyr by radical provocateurs and mainstream progressives alike under the guise of social justice. Consecutive riots quickly broke out in riot-torn Democratic strongholds.
Antifa-agitated civil unrest was ignited across major US cities following Floyd's death in May 2020, causing rampant property destruction, arson, looting, and far-left attacks on local and federal law enforcement. BLM rioters tore down prominent historical statues tied to the Confederacy, slavery, and colonial times.
King, a Baptist minister and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, an event that sent shock waves reverberating worldwide. Through impassioned speeches and nonviolent protests, King fought segregation and achieved significant civil rights advances for African Americans. King's assassination led to an outpour of outrage and a period of national mourning that paved the road for an equal housing bill.
While fury was inflamed over the news of King's slaying, sparking rioting in more than 100 cities around the country, President Lyndon B. Johnson urged Americans to "reject the blind violence" that had killed King, whom he called the "apostle of nonviolence," and called on Congress to pass the civil rights legislation then-entering the House for debate.
Johnson soon signed the Fair Housing Act, a major piece of civil rights legislation that prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin or sex and was considered an important follow-up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.