The use of “hood” drew nervous laughter from some Democrats in the audience. One person let out a “yikes,” but later cheered for Biden at the end of his anecdote.
Words like “ghetto,” “hood,” and “thug” have come under scrutiny recently by activists for supposedly having a loaded meaning. In the past, Biden has found himself in hot water for racially insensitive language and opposing efforts to integrate the nation’s schools.
In 2007, during his last White House run, Biden described then-Sen. Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” During his time in the Senate, Biden opposed a federal busing program to help desegregate schools.