Danielle Cinone, The Sun, September 4, 2020
Joe Biden has awkwardly claimed that a “black guy invented the lightbulb, not a white guy named Edison” during a speech in Kenosha.
The Democratic candidate made the puzzling claim during a Thursday visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Jacob Blake – a 29-year-old black man – was shot multiple times by cops just last month.
Biden made his speech at a community discussion at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha.
The event included small business owners, civic leaders, police chiefs, and residents.
Before his light bulb claim, the presidential candidate made a promise for the future.
“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,” he said, referring to racial injustice.
“We will move a lot further down the road.”
Biden then questioned: “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?”
He added: “That Black Wall Street in Oklahoma was burned to the ground.
“Anybody know? We don’t teach them. We have to give people facts. Teach them what is out there. The idea.”
Biden appeared to be referring to inventor Lewis Howard Latimer – a black man who helped with the patenting of the light bulb and the telephone.
Latimer worked closely with Thomas Edison – who invented the first practical incandescent light bulb in 1879.
“Edison’s prototypical light bulb was lit by a glowing, electrified filament made of paper, which unfortunately burnt out rather quickly,” according to Lemelson-MIT.
“Latimer created a light bulb with a filament made of the much more durable carbon.
“He sold the patent for the ‘Incandescent Electric Light Bulb with Carbon Filament’ to the United States Electric Company in 1881.”
Some of Edison’s most significant inventions are the light bulb, alkaline storage battery, movie camera and viewer, phonograph, and carbon telephone transmitter, according to History.com.
In addition to his light bulb comment, Biden said he needed to stop rambling on about taxes “or he’d be shot.”
The shocking gaffe followed Biden talking with gun victim Blake.
Biden and his wife met with Blake’s relatives at Milwaukee airport and chatted with the gun victim himself over the phone.