'I Cringed': An Icon of Civil Rights Confronts the Wrong of Biden's Expertise on Who's Black

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, greet one another before they participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)



You’ve surely heard of Joe Biden’s recent flub on black Americans and voting — during an interview with radio personality Charlamagne Tha God, Joe blurted, “I’ll tell you — if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Not everyone was enthused — including Charlamagne, who replied, “It don’t have nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact that I want something for my community.”

And imagine the shock to black voters all over who weren’t sold on Biden.

Poor Larry Elder was suddenly faced with the fact that he’d been living a lie:

The Trump campaign, on the other hand, was pleased as punch. The President basically took Biden’s statement and used it as a springboard for a Triple Lindy:


And, of course, amid the hubbub, Biden’s taken a terrible dive:

Apparently, he’s trying to rally with Ninja moves — like declaring his best question’s concerned what kind of ice cream he likes:

But out in the world at large, the fallout continues. And on Tuesday, Congress’s highest-ranking black member — House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) — chimed in on the mess.

While guesting on ABC’s The View, he laid it out for Whoopi Goldberg:

“In this instance, Joe did not do as well as I had hoped in responding. But I will say this: I go about my business every day comparing Joe Biden to the alternative — not the Almighty.”

Biden ain’t without his bugs:

“He is not a perfect person. None of us are. So my decision now is to determine who I feel should be the next president of the United States. And I do that by comparing the candidates to each other, not to the Almighty.”

The ladies pressed, and James made an example of Whoopi:

“Look, he’s not a perfect person. All of us have misspoken. I’m a great admirer of Whoopi Goldberg. I have loved her for a long, long time. I can remember a few times when she was a little bit skittish and apologized in her own way for saying things. I do it all the time. And so, we sometimes say things we do not really mean, they come out a little bit wrong. And that’s what happened here.”


Some folks seem to think it was more than a little.

And he got more than a little messed up while talking to Charlemagne, more than once.

During his Breakfast Club spot, the former VP claimed, “Take a look at my record. I extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP’s endorsed me every time I’ve run.”

That prompted a Saturday statement from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People:

“Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden made a comment about the NAACP’s endorsement. We want to clarify that the NAACP is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse candidates for political office at any level.”


Back to the “ain’t black” thing, it does strike me as an an odd grouping of words to have let pass between his teeth. I have no doubt Joe’s comment was made flippantly, but — in my opinion — it suggests an attitude within the Democratic Party that may be more pervasive than some would hope: that it has the black vote in its hip pocket.

Whatever your color, it seems to me, no voter wants to be taken for granted.

I think civil rights icon James Clyburn’s initial response was right on the money:

“I cringed, no question about that.”




See 3 more pieces from me:

Cops Shoot a Knife-Wielding Man Shouting Obscenities During a Church Service. How Do We Turn Back the Cultural Tide?

Believe All Assailants? Ilhan Omar Clarifies She Wants Guilty-of-Sexual-Assault Biden as #HerPresident

‘He Doesn’t Even Know He’s Alive’: Trump Takes a Brutal Bite as He Continues to Eat Sloppy Joe

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