‘If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black’. This was a statement from Joe Biden which he made on his appearance on the radio show, The Breakfast Club, which aired on the 22nd May. Biden apologised for this comment later that day, declaring that he ‘shouldn’t have been such a wise guy’, further adding that no one should feel compelled to vote for anyone based on their race.
As can be expected in this age of strict partisanship, Biden’s opponents were quick to heavily criticise his performance on the radio show, with Senator Tim Scott – the only black Republican in the Senate – reprimanding the former Vice President for implying that blacks should fall in line for the Democratic party. In addition, Miranda Devine of the New York Post has written about the implications this may have on Biden’s chances of reaching the White Houses, mentioning that this statement mirrored that of Hillary’s infamous deplorables comment which she made on her own campaign trail back in 2016. Devine judges that this is an omen that Biden himself will lose the election in November under similar circumstances (but if we have learnt anything over the last few years, it’s that we don’t call an election until the votes have been counted).
Others, particularly the liberal media which has staunchly opposed President Trump from day one, have documented the incident with an unusual degree of impartiality, accepting Biden’s apology for his ‘gaffe’.
Now, if President Trump had made similar comments – perhaps saying that ‘if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Biden, you ain’t an American’ – one can only imagine the unrelenting wall-to-wall coverage from the anti-Trump press.
Even if Trump were begging on his hands and knees to be forgiven, there would still be no respite as the media would declare it the biggest scandal of his presidency.
But Biden’s comment is more than just a gaffe. A gaffe is a rare and embarrassing moment where the person speaking makes a mistake, perhaps by coming off as too rude or unclear than they intended to. Yet it can be proven that Biden, along with the rest of the Democratic party, have a history of holding a condescending view towards the African American community.
For example, In August 2019, Biden gave a speech where he declared that ‘poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.’ Coupled with the party’s policy of affirmative action (where minority groups are propped-up with ‘positive discrimination’ to unfairly compete for job positions or college places) along with its zealous commitment to social justice, the Democrats possess the bigotry of low expectations, believing that black voters can’t succeed in life without their benevolent assistance.
So, although Biden does not admit it, he is taking the black vote for granted, as the African-American community is a key voting bloc for the Democratic Party (according to Pew Research, Clinton comfortably carried the black vote at ninety-one per cent in 2016). Given that the Democrats position themselves as the party that stands up for minority groups against the evil, bigoted Republican Party that wants to eat them alive, why wouldn’t Biden expect the black vote to flock to him as if he was the messiah?
When Biden’s comment on The Breakfast Club is examined with this context in mind, then the only conclusion is that it was not simply a gaffe, but Biden’s own default opinion. He expects the black vote to turn out heavily for him in November, and he will be surprised if he has to offer anything of substance to the community in order to earn this.
Photo by Marc Nozzel on Flickr.
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