Some candidates will do whatever it takes to get a vote. Joe Biden shows how it’s done.
Joe Biden’s town hall event in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Thursday was marred by a number of controversial and eyebrow-raising incidents, including the Democratic candidate claiming that the light bulb was not invented by Thomas Edison, and a questioner refusing to adhere to a pre-written script she was “told to go off.”
Biden said during the event that a black man invented the light bulb — and “not white guy named Edison.”
“Why in God’s name don’t we teach history in history classes. A Black man invented the light bulb not a white guy named Edison, okay?
There’s so much. Did anybody know before with what’s recently happened that Black Wall Street in Oklahoma was burned to the ground? Does anybody know these things? Because we don’t teach, ‘em. We gotta give people facts. Teach them what’s out there.”
Biden, 77, made the claim while speaking Thursday at Grace Lutheran Church, where he met residents following a 90-minute private session with Jacob Blake’s family, a meeting that Blake joined by phone, according to attorney Ben Crump.
“I cannot guarantee everything gets solved in four years, but I guarantee you one thing: It will be a whole heck of a lot better” if he’s elected in November, Biden promised. “We will move a lot further down the road.”
Biden then insisted that “people fear” anything that’s different before launching into a critique of the American education system.
“We gotta, for example, why in God’s name don’t we teach history in history classes?” he told the crowd through a mask. “A black man invented the light bulb, not a white guy named Edison. OK? There’s so much. Did anybody know?”
American inventor Thomas Edison is credited with patenting the first commercially successful incandescent light bulb in 1879, using a paper filament that burned out quickly. Three years later, Lewis Howard Latimer, a black inventor who worked as one of Edison’s researchers, patented a light bulb using a carbon filament, which was much more durable, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology profile.
Latimer also holds patents for the electric lamp in 1881, four years before he teamed up with Edison to begin “improving upon his boss’s invention,” Grist magazine reported in a 2015 profile of Latimer, who first worked as an assistant to inventor Alexander Graham Bell.
Some accused Biden of trying to “rewrite history.”
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