Bankole: Joe Biden insults Black voters; VP pick his shot at redemption
Joe Biden has moved from telling a Black radio host in New York, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black,” to now engaging in even more insulting comments in a recent interview. He told reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who works for NPR,that unlike the Black community, the Latino community is very diverse.
“Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things. You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration than you do in Arizona. So it’s a very diverse community,” Biden told a virtual 2020 convention of Black and Latino journalists.
Biden’s comments suggest he is an expert on Black people, and that he knows Black people better than they know themselves.
Even though he tried to “explain” his comments later on Twitter by claiming he wasn’t suggesting the Black community is monolithic, it was too late because he already told us what was on his mind.
Biden’s latest remarks reflect a demeaning and condescending trait among white liberal politicians. When you invite them to a meeting in the Black community, they take the biggest seat in the room without seeking permission.
Former President Bill Clinton just demonstrated this at the funeral of the late civil rights hero John Lewis, when he tried to dismiss the work of another civil rights giant, Stokely Carmichael (known as Kwame Ture). Trying to disparage Carmichael’s chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Clinton suggested that under Lewis the group was in better hands.
Clinton thinking he is qualified to define who played a larger role in the Black freedom struggle is astounding. To belittle Carmichael, an icon of the Black power movement, is the height of white liberal arrogance and classic plantation politics.
Neither Clinton nor Biden have any standing to tell Black people how to think. Just because Biden served under the nation’s first Black president, Barack Obama, doesn’t make him an authority on Black consciousness. He was placed on the Obama ticket to appeal to a segment of white voters, not to legitimize the ticket.
Biden's attempt to pit the Latino community against the Black community in the era of the Black Lives Matter movement is conceited. To do so at a time when white liberals are being called on the carpet for not doing much for Black people will only be met with resistance.
Biden should know that for every attempt to distort or denigrate the Black experience and place the white liberal establishment in a superior role over issues in the Black community, there will be an equal reaction to correct the facts.
If Biden thinks he can engage in hurtful and anti-Black political discourse, he is going to have a serious problem in November.
Maybe Biden is convinced he doesn’t need to work hard anymore for Black support. Maybe he’s decided a competent and qualified Black woman isn’t needed on the ticket, because Blacks are expected to roll over for the man who bragged about authoring the infamous 1994 crime bill.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who since her election has broken key campaign promises made to Blacks, is still said to be in the running as a possible choice for Biden.
But Biden should be ready for a political mutiny inside the party if he thinks white liberal women like Whitmer are the Black saviors. Recently, over a hundred Black women leaders recently criticized the treatment of the narrative surrounding Black women being considered for VP. Black women are tired of being exploited by the party. Biden will be making a politically fatal decision if he walks all over the list of impressive and credentialed Black women in favor of a rising white female liberal star.
It was just last week that Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to Biden, appeared on my radio show to try to make the case to our listeners.
Her job just got harder.
Catch “Redline with Bankole Thompson,” which broadcasts at 11 a.m. weekdays on 910AM.