During days of remembrance, whether they be for famous local or national figures or a beloved family member or friend, it’s perfectly okay to not keep things serious and somber for the entirety of the day.
In fact, though none of us can speak for the dearly departed, I suspect that if they could be heard most would be found to be advising people to go about their lives, to remember the happy times as well as the struggles, and to have some laughs along the way as they’re thinking of those who are no longer with us.
So with that in mind, we turn to President Joe Biden’s speech in front of MSNBC host and Rev. Al Sharpton’s “National Action Network” on MLK Day, a speech given in honor of the late civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., who was born on January 15, 1929, and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
At one point during the event as Biden was speaking, he paused to show support for Arndrea Waters King, the wife of Martin Luther King III, who is the son of King Jr. and his late wife, Coretta Scott King.
Apparently, Biden was told beforehand that it was her birthday. And during a light-hearted moment, he said it was a Biden family rule to sing “happy birthday” to people on their birthdays.
“Well, look, my wife has a rule in her family. When it’s somebody’s birthday, you sing ‘Happy Birthday.’ You ready?” Biden asked the crowd before he began leading them in the singing of the traditional time-honored classic tune to King.
Except when it came to the name part of the song, Biden muttered something unintelligible, like “Happy birthday, dear Val-it” or something like that before finishing the song, seemingly forgetting Arndrea Waters King’s name.
Joe Biden forgets the name of the person he is singing Happy Birthday to. pic.twitter.com/hrkrhXehWT
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 16, 2023
According to the New York Post, video from the event appeared to show the King family looking “bewildered” during the moment, which isn’t seen in the above clip.
There were other cringe instances as well from Biden’s speech, including a highly ignorant and naive remark about police officers and firearms.
If there was one good thing that came from Biden’s comments, however, is that we weren’t treated to any more tall tales of his supposed involvement in the civil rights movement, a story that has been debunked over and over again – including at one point long ago by Biden himself:
Here is Joe Biden in 1987:
“I was not an activist…I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma. I was not anywhere else.” pic.twitter.com/ijty46nY83
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 5, 2022
Sadly, he started telling the same whoppers again about his supposed civil rights legacy during his 2020 presidential campaign and has carried them over to his presidency, most recently on Sunday during a speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Georgia, where King once preached.