“Did you hear what Joe Biden said this morning??!?!!!?!?”
That has been the gist of my messages and inbox for the entirety of this day and for good reason. Everyone everywhere knows…
YOU NEVER GO FULL-JOE-BIDEN.
Well, everyone knows this except – it seems – Joe Biden. If you’re reading this then you heard the kerfuffle but just to be safe let’s recap: on a popular morning radio show Biden told the host that if a voter is trying to decide between him and Trump, “you ain’t black.” Even host Charlamagne Tha God was taken aback by the sudden declaration and Biden handlers immediately intervened to end the interview, but the damage was done.
I’ve seen and heard a lot in my time in politics. Donald Trump makes people shake their heads (in agreement or disbelief) every day, but I have never seen anything quite like this. I could hardly believe my ears. Did a former vice-president of the United States and current candidate for the White House – and a WHITE MAN – just go on national media and shred the “Black Card” of any black American who doesn’t vote for him?
Is this real life?
I wouldn’t let a black person define my “blackness” for me, I certainly am not okay with a white man doing it. I can’t even believe the black fire brigade that has shown up to defend these remarks. When did we decide it was okay for white people to decide which pocket we keep our “Black Card” in? I understand that some of these people truly hate Trump with a passion but it is ridiculous that anyone would subjugate themselves to a wealthy, privileged white man just because they hate the other wealthy, privileged white man so much. It makes no sense.
And let’s play a little “whataboutism” for a moment. What if Donald Trump or Ivanka Trump or any Karen on any given day declared that any black person who doesn’t vote for Trump is not really black? The media would have set themselves on fire. Instead we have been treated to a litany of black and white voices who are actually defending this utter nonsense. I would slap the taste out of any white person’s mouth if they came up to me and told me what I needed to do to qualify as black. Any black person would and that is what is so crazy.
Biden didn’t even think twice about saying that. He – a white man – felt completely entitled and comfortable blurting that out to a young black man and blanketing an entire race with his judgement. That is the textbook definition of “white privilege.”
I liked that Charlamagne tried to pull it back and get to the real point. He tried to tell Biden that this wasn’t about Trump, rather what’s good for the black community. But Joe Biden isn’t a thinker…he’s an old school politician. He glad-hands and kisses babies and jokes and makes everyone feel like his friend. He’s really good at that “smooth politician” schtick that most of America has been enamored with for decades. Trump blew all that up and the landscape has changed. People outside the media bubbles want genuine discussion, debate and expressions. Charlamagne didn’t want platitudes. He wanted answers. He wanted to know why Joe Biden deserves what we know as “the black vote.” He got a smartass remark instead.
In the end, this is what is so disturbing. Black Americans looking to vote Democrat want solutions and Joe Biden decided all they deserved was a platitude. I’m not even upset as a right-leaning black woman. I’m too old and too tired to be insulted by insults anymore. I’m upset at the attitude that seems to permeate liberal political circles that the only thing…THE ONLY THING…that defines black people is their vote. Hundreds of years of struggle and triumph as a part of this great nation and we get reduced to a vote.
If nothing else defines our blackness then isn’t it just so convenient that the only way to prove we’re black is vote for a certain party?
I find the defenses of Biden’s statements just as incredulous as I find the defenses of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers.
You can still vote for him if you choose, but don’t try to excuse this. Own it. Even better…ponder it.
You can hear my full thoughts on Biden’s comments on the latest bonus episode of Just Listen To Yourself with Kira Davis, available anywhere you find your podcasts.