Democratic front runner Joe Biden has had been called out while on the campaign trail for embellishing some of the stories he’s told. In 2017, the former vice president told a story about the time he almost had an altercation with “Corn Pop,” the leader of a Delaware gang called “the Romans.” The story resurfaced over the weekend after a journalist questioned its validity.
TheRoot.com’s senior writer Michael Harriot questioned the facts of the 2017 story claiming that the story represented a “jigaboo version” of race “that is almost alien-like.” However, after some digging from various outlets and those who were present, there is significant evidence that corroborates Biden’s course of events.
The story, for those unaware, took place in 1962 when Biden was the only white lifeguard at Prices Run swimming pool in Brown-Burton Winchester Park in Wilmington, Delaware.
During a renaming ceremony for the pool, Biden explained that he had a run-in with Corn Pop, the leader of a local gang. According to Biden, he told the gang leader to stop jumping on the diving board. To add insult to injury, Biden called the man Esther William, a famous 1950s swimmer.
Feeling disrespected, Corn Pop demanded that Biden meet him in the parking lot by his car to have a fight. Before Biden went to the parking lot, he noticed three other men with Corn Pop, all with switchblades.
Not knowing what to do, Biden asked a white mechanic working on the pool how he should proceed. The mechanic allegedly gave Biden a six-foot chain and told him to defend himself with that.
When Biden reached the parking lot, he explained to Corn Pop that he was sorry for insulting him, but he was not sorry for telling him to get off the diving board. After apologizing, Corn Pop put the switchblade away and the two became friends.
As crazy as that story sounds, it turns out it was actually true. Several people such as former NAACP President Richard “Mouse” Smith gave his first-hand account of the ordeal.
Smith explained what Biden said did indeed happen and is a bit of local legend in the area. The only difference in the story is Smith claimed Biden used “colorful” language when demanding Corn Pop get off the diving board.
Furthermore, CNN reporter Daniel Dale found an obituary for William L “CornPop” Morris, who died in 2016 at the age of 73.
When asked why he chose a job in a prodomently black area, Biden explained it was “in hopes of learning more about the black community.”
Harriot has yet to comment on the story now that it has been proven to be factual.