Biden Visits Kenosha, Presents Himself as Unifying Figure

By Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao
Bowen Xiao was a New York-based reporter at The Epoch Times. He covers national security, human trafficking and U.S. politics.
September 4, 2020Updated: September 4, 2020

KENOSHA, Wis.—A small crowd of Biden supporters and Black Lives Matter protestors showed up during Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s visit to Kenosha, just days after President Donald Trump visited the city.

On Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden met with community leaders, business owners, and law enforcement officials inside Grace Lutheran Church, following days of protests and violence.

He also met with the family of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old man who was shot by police in August, setting off protests, riots, and arson attacks in the city. Blake was a suspect in a felony sexual assault case who was shot by police while resisting arrest, according to police.

Supporters of Biden told The Epoch Times they believe the Democrat nominee would be more suited at tackling issues such as police brutality and social justice than Trump.

“I know Donald Trump was here but I actually thought that was a more divisive move … to create more hate and division in America,” Brad Serda, a Biden supporter said. “I think actually Joe Biden is here to express concern and to help this community heal,” he added.

Trump flew to Illinois and then was driven across state lines into Wisconsin on Sept. 1 to survey the damage on the city inflicted by rioters. After touring buildings reduced to rubble by fires, Trump told a group of business owners and managers: “We’re going to work with you. We’re going to help you, OK? We’ll help you rebuild.”

Trump sent federal officers to Kenosha after a few days of rioting. The president said his administration would provide economic aid in addition to help with law enforcement.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump views property damaged during riots in Kenosha, Wis., on Sept. 1, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

There appeared to be fewer supporters showing up for Biden’s Kenosha visit compared to Trump’s. Multiple groups gathered at most intersections in the city ahead of Trump’s visit. For Biden, most supporters gathered at one location.

During the visit, Biden tried to emphasize an argument that he’ll be a unifying figure following months of protests, riots, and looting incidents in major cities since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Fitzgerald Scott, a Biden supporter who showed up outside the church, said it was a big deal to get a chance to see the former vice president.

“But if you noticed, you can’t see him,” he said. “He comes in one door, goes out the other. It’s politics, he’s got to protect himself … if that’s the precaution they need to take, I’m alright with that. I’ll get another chance.”

Epoch Times Photo
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Grace Lutheran Church in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Sept. 3, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Scott, a political organizer who says he supports the defund the police movement, said he showed up in support for Biden, but more importantly to support the community and to encourage people to vote. He accused Trump of not being “in touch with the people.”

“The biggest difference is Biden is going to sit down and talk with … people who are affected by this,” he said. “I feel that.”

Meanwhile, a local Kenosha business owner told The Epoch Times she felt it was important that Trump came to see what was happening firsthand.

“I am appreciative that [Trump] is open to having dialogues with places that this is happening at,” the owner said. “Everyone has to come and meet. The governors need to meet with the president; these need to be conversations that are happening.”

Don Tran and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.