During introductory remarks at a three-day summit to address violent extremism on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden welcomed future waves of immigration which he predicted are “not going to stop.”
Forty religious, business and civic leaders are convening at the summit to address extremism in the wake of Islamic terrorist attacks in France, Canada, Belgium, Australia and Denmark.
“I’m proud of the American record on culture and economic integration of not only our Muslim communities but African communities, Asian communities, Hispanic communities,” Biden said. “And the wave still continues. It’s not going to stop. Nor should we want it to stop. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things I think we can be most proud of.”
Embracing immigration was part of the theme of the summit — stated numerous times by Biden — that “inclusion counts.”
The key to preventing young people from gravitating towards extremism is to form coalitions to ensure that “every child in every minority community in America — particularly now in the Muslim-American community — is able to feel like we see them,” Biden said.
“We are a melting pot,” Biden said of the U.S. “It is the ultimate source of our strength. It is the source of who we are.”
“It started all the way back in the late 1700s. There’s been a constant, unrelenting stream of immigration. Not in little trickles, but in large numbers.”
Biden also welcomed the moment when the U.S. becomes a so-called “majority-minority” nation.
“Folks like me who are Caucasian of European descent — for the first time in 2017 we’ll be an absolute minority in the United States of America,” Biden said. “Absolutely minority. Fewer than 50 percent of the people in America, from then and on, will be white European stock. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a source of our strength.”
Biden stated the wrong year by which whites will become a minority. The U.S. Census Bureau has projected that that will occur in 2043.
The summit’s community-oriented approach to addressing extremism will “go beyond a military answer” and “beyond force,” Biden said.
“We have to work from the ground up and engage our communities and engage those who might be susceptible to being radicalized because they are marginalized,” he continued.
“Societies have to provide an affirmative alternative for immigrant communities — a sense of opportunity, a sense of belonging and that discredits the terrorist appeal to fear, isolation, hatred, resentment.”
Biden’s most eye-grabbing remarks at Tuesday’s event concerned his claims about his relationship with Somali-Americans from his hometown of Wilmington, Del. (RELATED: ‘There’s An Awful Lot’ Of Somali Cab Drivers, Joe Biden Says)
“I might add if you ever come to the train station with me you’ll notice that I have great relations with them because there are an awful lot of them driving cabs, and are friend of mine,” Biden said. “For real. I’m not being solicitous; I’m being serious.”
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