Joe Biden is being Joe Biden, which means instead of staying in the basement and allowing Donald Trump to sink himself and be the story, he has volunteered a gaffe for us to focus on.
In an interview with Charlamagne Tha God for Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, Biden expressed his feelings that there was no reason for Black Americans to consider voting for Trump’s reelection in the worst way imaginable. “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black,” Biden declared.
I would love to know what Michelle Obama texted her mom about this, but I digress.
Supporters have noted that when you watch the exchange, it’s easy to conclude that Biden was making the comment in jest. Biden’s senior adviser Symone Sanders said as much on Twitter, adding that “he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African-American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.”
I don’t know how I feel about “period” being used in the context of Joe Biden, who pretty much made JT’s life hell, but whatever. I’ll let it go. (Please never tell Joe Biden about the City Girls, by the way.)
In spite of the Biden campaign’s clarification, unsurprisingly, the dozen or so Black conservatives we know of started babbling anyway. Let them tell it, they are oh so hurt, blah, blah and blah. For example, there is Katrina Pierson, who told The New York Times, “Joe Biden has a history of saying dehumanizing things when it comes to Black Americans.”
Katrina Pierson is not technically wrong in her assessment, but this is a person who didn’t seem to mind Trump saying even far worse things about Black folks (allegedly and absolutely), so I’ll go back to forgetting she exists, thank you very much.
There were complaints from more serious people such as Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who said on Fox Business: “Joe Biden’s comments are the most arrogant and condescending thing I’ve heard in a very long time. I am offended, but not surprised.”
Unfortunately, like Pierson, Scott loves Trump, which means I don’t believe that Negro either. If you like Trump, you may be Black, but you don’t care about Black people very much. Let me repeat that since Black Republicans tend to be sensitive about everything but their lines: If you are Black and want to vote for Donald Trump, you are still Black…just dumb, evil and acting Mighty White.
There, that’s better.
But this, again, is Biden’s fault.
Some people did not want the Democratic Party to nominate Joe Biden for president, but once the aunties of South Carolina voted, it was all but certain that we would have to suck it up and vote for the former vice president in November.
We don’t have to be excited about it, but we can do it. And most of us will do it. No one wants to deal with Trump for four more years when four more minutes alone seem so unbearable. Could he steal the election? It’s possible, but I also believe the man has inconvenienced White people too much in this pandemic and has enraged old people of every demographic, so as he sets up more people to die and further exacerbates the problem, all Biden has to do is stay alive and blink and win.
So it’d be nice if Biden would do us all the honor of trying really hard not to make this more difficult than it needs to be. He can’t make jokes like that even if it’s true that Black folks more often than not, don’t really rock with Black Republicans outside of Uncle Phil on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Yeezys. Where were his Black staffers to explain to Joe Biden what “too comfortable” means?
Folks can accept and understand that Biden is a better choice for president than a White supremacist, but when you were only harping on how lovely it was to work with a segregationist a summer ago, don’t go on a radio show for Black people and joke in any way like that.
It only reminds folks of your ego and entitlement. It only makes the people Biden needs to vote for him less excited to do so. And sure, Biden’s team may be betting those suburban White moms might help offset some of that potential lackluster Black and youth vote à la 2016, but why take the risk?
This story will pass. Hell, I don’t care much now. What I do care about, though, is Biden not screwing this up.
For Biden’s sake, may mistakes like these fade quickly, and for the sake of those who don’t need four more years of Donald Trump, not be repeated.