Elizabeth Warren one-ups Biden with segregationist gaffe, but will media care?

(Photo by Bauzen/GC Images)

In the brave new world created by progressive Democrats and their media allies, the political landscape is peppered with potential mines just waiting to be stepped on by those who fail to perform their due diligence.

People such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., one of the leading 2020 presidential candidates, who is as eager to call attention to her opponents gaffes as she is to pander to any given demographic for votes.

Speaking to a crowd of 20,000 supporters Monday in Washington Square Park, in Lower Manhattan, the senator triumphed the feats of workers rights activist Frances Perkins, the New York Post reported.

Perkins, who served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, was inspired by the deadly 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 146 people, mostly women.

This matters because Warren was critical of front-runner Joe Biden for touting his ability in the 1970s to work with southern lawmakers like Sen. James Eastland, from Mississippi, and Sen. Herman Talmadge, from Georgia — both senators supported segregation.

Biden spoke of this over the summer at a New York fundraiser with wealthy donors — it was also included in his 2007 memoir — and Warren responded by saying, “I’m not here to criticize other Democrats, but it’s never OK to celebrate segregationists. Never.”

“Frances pushed from the inside,” Warren said on Monday. “Frances Perkins became the first woman in history to serve in the cabinet. And what did she do when she got there? Big structural change.”

That being Warren’s theme for the day, calling for sweeping structural changes.

But there were some things Perkins didn’t push for, such as the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregation in public schools, the Post noted.

The workers’ rights activist who served in the Democratic administration of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, said in 1954 that the country “should be nice to Negroes,” but that doesn’t mean they should have to go to school with them.

The Post cited Steven White, an assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University, who included comments Perkins made in an interview at the time of the decision in his 2014 dissertation.

“Why, I think it was terrible. It was a purely political decision, and I think it should never have been made. I do indeed. I don’t know how they got it,” she said.

Perkins, who died in 1965 at the age of 85, called out then-Chief Justice Earl Warren in her criticism.

“I mean, Earl Warren is a very diplomatic fellow, and he talked them into it. But there’s more to be said on it than they did,” she said.

Perkins was adamant desegregation was not “darned long overdue,” as put forth by the interviewer.

“No, it’s not overdue. It’s just begun to loom up as due — as nearly due. No wait! Nobody ever heard that segregation was wrong until about five years ago. I never heard such a thing. I never heard such a thing,” Perkins said.

The Warren campaign did not respond to a request for comment from the Post, but did use the Perkins story in a fundraising email sent out to supporters.

This being a good indication of how confident Warren is that the media, as a whole, will run cover for her.

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Tom Tillison


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