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You Ain’t Black

Joe Biden told black voters they ain't black if they consider voting for Trump.

There’s little that needs to be said after that video. However, as a writer, I like to say (and write) things, so here goes.

“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Joe Biden, on The Breakfast Club morning show, May 22, 2020

Pretend it wasn’t Joe Biden who said that, and that the name, “Trump” was not in the sentence. Substitute for Biden any Republican politician from your lifetime. Then envision the media frenzy that would ensue as the campaign went up in flames. Just for the sake of argument, substitute any other race, demographic, sexual preference, gender, age group or zip code for the word, “black,” and imagine the outcry in the media. The candidate and his or her surrogates would embark on an apology tour, and might even be forced to withdraw from a campaign – whether it’s for President or for district water commissioner. This is an unforgiveable sin for anyone without a D behind his or her name.

The outrage from Republicans, black and white, was on full display throughout the day, on Twitter, Fox News and various websites. The absence of outrage – or even acknowledgement of this apocalypse of verbal gaffes was stunning however, from just about anyone on the left. I follow several prominent Democrats on Twitter – ones that I respect and consider somewhat objective. Among them are CNN contributor Van Jones and political operatives David Axelrod and Joe Trippi. As of the writing of this piece, some 15 hours after Biden’s “You ain’t black” moment, none have addressed this on Twitter. I visited CNN’s website in search of a story on this unprecedented example of identity politics. I found none. I did find stories on their front page about Crayola unveiling new crayon colors and an actress’s potty training struggles – you know, important stuff.

Senator Tim Scott (R- SC) called Biden’s comments “the most arrogant and condescending thing I’ve heard in a very long time.” He added, “I’m offended, but not surprised.” Scott, is a black man from the state credited with rescuing Biden’s lagging campaign because of it’s significant black population.

Based on Biden’s comments today, Scott is not black at all. Nor are Ben Carson, Candace Owens or the 11% of black people who said they support Trump in a recent survey done by The Hill that shows Biden leading Trump by 1% in the general election.

Biden’s spokesperson, Simone Sanders, claimed that the former Vice President’s comments were “in jest.” This is akin to President Trump saying he was being sarcastic after musing out loud if injecting disinfectant would help cure coronavirus patients. Only then, all the media called him out for his explanation. Today, Biden largely got a pass.

There are two undeniably disgusting notions at play here. One, Biden – and most any Democrat – completely takes the black vote for granted and can get away with saying things no Republican could. Second, the media – outside of those considered “right wing” – completely ignore or downplay any potentially disqualifying behavior from their darling leftists, while pouncing on any misstep – real or perceived – that a Conservative politician makes.

From my perusal of reactions on Twitter today, including those on The Breakfast Club page, I saw plenty of outrage from black Americans. I saw some excuses being made for “Uncle Joe,” as well, but they were outnumbered by those who were genuinely aghast at the his audacity. In fact, The Breakfast Club even posted a poll asking for reactions to Biden’s comments. With 10 hours remaining to vote, the responses are about 90% negative.

Will this be the next step in a shift of black support for President Trump? The President has already received vocal support from Kanye West, Herschel Walker, Alveda King and a number of black ministers. He has taken every opportunity to tout the positive things that have happened for the black community since his inauguration, including record low unemployment and prison reform. If Trump can take the high road (admittedly, not his strong suit) and continue his outreach to the black community, while Biden wallows in his own verbal soup, this could be a turning point in the campaign. Black support above 10-12% for Trump could cement his second term. After today, those numbers could be the floor for the President, not the ceiling.

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