The clip did not alter what Biden said during those 19 seconds. But the video and its creator’s inflammatory caption — “Biden proclaims the ‘European’ identity of America: ‘Our culture is not imported from some African nation'” — left out essential context Biden had provided before and after the 19 seconds.
Biden was asked at an event in Derry, New Hampshire, on Monday, December 30 to discuss his history in fighting domestic violence and sexual assault and his “vision” for dealing with those issues.
The former vice president spoke about how, in his view, the United States has a “cultural problem” with domestic abuse and sexual assault in part because the US has been influenced by the permissive common law established by judges in England hundreds of years ago.
“We have a cultural problem. A cultural problem,” Biden said upon ending the story.
Minutes later, Biden returned to his point about the legacy of old England. He said: “Folks, this is about changing the culture. Our culture. Our culture. It’s not imported from some African nation or some Asian nation. It’s our English jurisprudential culture. Our European culture. That says it’s all right.”
The 19-second clip omitted Biden’s sentence at the beginning, in which he said “this is about changing the culture,” and Biden’s sentence at the end, in which he said he was talking about a culture that says “it” – sexual abuse – is all right.
The clip, which had been viewed more than 1.6 million times as of Thursday night, showed Biden saying only this: “The culture. Our culture. Our culture. It’s not imported from some African nation or some Asian nation. It’s our English jurisprudential culture. Our European culture.” Devoid of context, it sounded like he was indeed proclaiming that America’s cultural identity is solely European.
Misinformation for political gain
The Twitter user, @mooncult, was unrepentant, tweeting that the video was “completely unaltered.” @mooncult acknowledged “it was a tightly cut clip” but noted that it was “not doctored.” @mooncult said, “i meant no ill intent. the point i wanted to highlight is the part i posted. i honestly didn’t think i was leaving out anything important.”