‘Joking’ Or Not, Biden’s ‘You Ain’t Black’ Remark Reeked Of Identity Politics
In the pages of the Washington Post Friday, writer Jonathan Capehart spent 650 words or so explaining why Biden’s viral comment from only a few hours prior was “clearly a joke.”
The remark Capehart addresses in his article, titled “Come on. Biden’s ‘you ain’t black’ comment was clearly a joke,” occurred on an episode of “The Breakfast Club,” wherein the former vice president and presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee closed out the show with the startling and cringey comment, “I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
“When heard in the context of the previous 17 minutes and 21 seconds, you know that Biden is joking around,” Capehart writes in Biden’s defense. “Perhaps he got a little too comfortable talking to a community with which he has a strong relationship that spans decades. Add to that being the vice president to the nation’s first black president and you know his affinity with black folks runs deep.”
Biden’s senior adviser Symone Sanders took the same line, insisting the former vice president’s comment was “in jest.”
The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 22, 2020
Biden’s comment, which naturally exploded on Twitter, drew criticism from detractors who said Biden should stay locked away in his basement, away from the cameras. But they also garnered insane defenses from the likes of Nikole Hannah-Jones, who recently secured the Pulitzer Prize for her fallacy-laden 1619 Project for the New York Times.
Twitter is so amazing pic.twitter.com/T3V6joPg92
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) May 22, 2020
Biden later apologized for his “cavalier” comments, rendering any defense of them as “clearly a joke” irrelevant.
MORE: “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” @JoeBiden said later in the call with the @usblackchambers “I shouldn’t have been so cavalier. … No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background.”
— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) May 22, 2020
But the problem with Biden’s remark was never its being too serious. Conservatives criticizing his comment weren’t concerned about the former vice president being “racist,” at least in the meaningless way today’s left uses the term.
Capehart’s reminder of Biden’s “being vice president to the nation’s first black president” or his “affinity with black folks” was unnecessary, for detractors didn’t take offense to Biden’s utterance out of a persuasion that he hates black people.
Rather, Biden’s remark confirms the Democrat’s unwillingness to see black voters as people, as individuals, rather than as a monolithic voting bloc.
According to progressives like Biden and Hannah-Jones, black people who don’t vote for Biden “ain’t black,” in the same way that women who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 “betrayed their gender.” Republicans are clearly far too sexist, too homophobic, too white, and too Christian to garner support from any woman, gay person, minority, or unbeliever. It’s absurd. People don’t vote with the color of their skin.
But despite Biden’s many gaffes, this wasn’t one. The former vice president didn’t misspeak. This commentary aligns with the same nonsense that escapes his mouth on a regular basis as part of his belief system, such as the idea that being black is synonymous with being poor and uneducated — a comment he tried to walk back quickly after realizing its implications.
Joe Biden: “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”
— Abigail Marone (@abigailmarone) May 22, 2020
Or his notion that choosing a VP from a higher perch in the intersectional hierarchy is morally superior to selecting someone based on their qualifications, character, or even likability. It’s why in the same “Breakfast Club” interview, he made sure to note for the record that he’s considering not just one, but “multiple” black women — two cheers for identity politics — to be his 2020 running mate. “I guarantee you, there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple,” he said.
The same Democrats who so desperately want to win back the portion of the electorate they lost to Donald Trump in 2016 are unwilling to see them as unique and individual voters, continuing ever to view them only as a caricatured group.
Counterpoint to Biden: If voters have a problem figuring out whether they’re for him or Trump, listening to a few more of his asinine interviews ought to clear things up.