Joe Biden in Black and White
Democrats have a long history of patronizing, exploiting and taking black voters for granted, so the party’s presumptive 2020 presidential nominee is a natural pick.
Few were surprised recently when, late in an already awkward interview conducted by one of several black co-hosts of a nationally-syndicated radio program targeting a black audience, Joe Biden proclaimed, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, you ain’t black.”
Biden routinely plays the race card, but, by insulting black voters he’ll need in November, this installment was even more ham-handed than Joe’s soulless 2012 NAACP Convention claim that Republicans “want to put y’all back in chains.”
In a graceless attempt to exonerate Biden, black NY Times staff writer Nicole Hannah-Jones tweeted (since deleted), “There is a difference between being politically black and being racially black. I am not defending anyone but we all know this and should stop pretending that we don’t.”
In doing so, Hannah-Jones inadvertently divulged the truth about “white privilege”: Whites are allowed freedom of thought and political choice, but blacks who don’t agree with or vote for Democrats are bullied, harassed, called race traitors, Uncle Toms, or “inauthentic,” among other charming epithets.
Having booked the interview to question Biden’s plan to improve conditions for blacks, his host objected, then dismissed Joe’s clumsy attempt to make the election about the Republican incumbent instead of how, in the view of many listeners, Democrats have shortchanged black communities.
Later, the interviewer polled his 2.1 million Twitter followers, asking if they agreed with Biden’s statement. Nearly ninety percent of about 40,000 respondents disagreed.
A number of prominent African-Americans reacted negatively, including the founder of Black Entertainment Television, and NAACP staff, the latter taking exception to Biden’s on-air claim of having always received their endorsement. The NAACP doesn’t formally endorse anyone, even black candidates.
Some fear – others hope – that Biden’s thoughtlessly-arrogant condescension to black voters will haunt him in November, a la Hillary Clinton’s 2016 “deplorables” blunder. Biden needs a huge black turnout and 90 percent or more of their votes to win, so his patronizing indiscretion may be enough to reelect President Donald Trump.
Biden’s statement probably won’t hurt him among melanin-challenged Democrats, though. National media will continue to make excuses for Joe, and Democrats will deflect. Nonetheless, thoughtful people, people of conscience, black and white, will reflect on which is uglier, Biden’s racist comments or his political allies’ cynical defense of them.
Racist remarks by an elderly Democrat careerist have a certain consistency, though. After all, Biden’s party is the party of slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation.
Ultimately, the price Biden will pay is the realization of many Democrats and independent voters that Joe isn’t a sustainable political commodity. His handlers cannot keep him bunkered indefinitely. Eventually, Joe must emerge, campaign, debate and, if elected, take office. But, Biden cannot muster the cognitive resources to do a simple remote 15-minute softball interview without saying something ridiculous or offensive, slurring words, misspeaking, confusing/forgetting simple things and/or mentally wandering off. In fact, Joe is awful on teleprompter, so unscripted presidential debates will be must-see TV.
Joe’s most recent racist gaffe merely underscores what everyone already knows: Biden is incapable of actively campaigning or serving. If Democrats actually nominate an uninspiring, mentally unfit throwback like Joe Biden, many people, millions, perhaps, who dislike Trump, including Democrats, either won’t vote the office, or, more likely, at all.
Biden’s candidacy cannot end well.