Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a new campaign ad that condemns America as a racist society. “Why, in this nation, do Black Americans wake up knowing they can lose their life in the course of just living their life?” the ad begins.
The ad, aimed at African American voters, was released ahead of Biden’s visit Thursday to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where 29-year-old Jacob Blake was shot and seriously wounded in a confrontation with police August 23. Riots and violence followed.
Biden initially decided not to go to Kenosha, with his advisers suggesting they expected President Donald Trump’s visit on Tuesday to “backfire.” But after Trump was welcomed by local leaders and business owners, Biden changed his plans.
The ad is also noteworthy because it features the voice of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) alongside Biden. Harris is Biden’s running mate, but the campaign has often presented them as if she shared top billing with the presidential candidate.
Harris is heard advocating “national standard on use of force and conditioning federal funds for police departments on adoption of that standard.” She also suggests “reigning in qualified immunity” protecting police from lawsuits.
Notably, the ad does not condemn crime, or political violence, or offer any words of support for law enforcement, though Harris is briefly shown laying a wreath next to a man in uniform.
Last Monday, Biden condemned Kenosha police without condemning the riots. On Wednesday, he finally spoke out against the violence. He has since tried to blame Trump for the riots.