Yeah? So is calling COVID-19 the “Kung Flu,” but Senate Democrats have lost their minds calling that raaacist. After getting an avalanche of criticism for Joe Biden’s declaration that African-Americans supporting Donald Trump “ain’t black,” senior Biden adviser Symone Sanders claimed that Biden’s remark was “in jest.” That might be news to Breakfast Club host Charlamagne tha God — and anyone who watched the clip:
The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 22, 2020
Jest? This looks like something else entirely. Biden gets thin-skinned and combative when his record on issues gets challenged, as has been already observed on the campaign trail. He challenged a Detroit auto worker to a fight for having the temerity of questioning Biden’s gun-control agenda two months ago. When Charlamagne expressed reservations about Biden’s commitment to the black community, Biden reacted combatively, not humorously.
Senator Tim Scott — a Republican supporting Donald Trump — isn’t laughing:
“That is the most arrogant, outrageous comment I’ve heard in a very long time. And I take offense to that.”
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) May 22, 2020
Of course, Scott’s a Republican, some might scoff, but it’s not just black conservatives who aren’t laughing at Biden’s remark. Washington Post reporter Eugene Scott notes that there’s not much chuckling to be found among others, especially since Biden’s got a track record of condescending rhetoric with these voters:
Other African Americans who aren’t conservative criticized Biden for the remark, accusing him of a level of cockiness that has made them uncomfortable with his campaign since he launched it more than a year ago. As the vice president to America’s first black president, they say Biden often comes off as if he is entitled to the black vote.
Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide who teaches African American studies at Columbia, tweeted that as a white man, Biden does not get to question the blackness of black people. …
But telling a black American who prefers Trump over Biden that he or she isn’t black reeks of the paternalistic rhetoric that has often found Biden at the receiving end of criticism from black Americans. Biden has repeatedly been accused of talking down to them.
I’m pretty sure that Rolling Stone analyst Jamil Smith doesn’t fall in the GOP column either, and he’s not laughing:
No, @JoeBiden. The history of folks deciding who is and who isn’t black is fraught. Even when the remark is made in jest. One would think that that the presumptive Democratic nominee, who served under the first black president for eight years, would know this. https://t.co/jLXlYXjmFq
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) May 22, 2020
Neither is progressive writer Roxane Gay:
Ma’am. What? He doesn’t get to “jest” like that. It wasn’t funny. It played into the long standing notion that the black vote is uncritical and guaranteed and the notion that blackness is mutable and defined by whiteness. https://t.co/wk1uWA5bzM
— roxane gay (@rgay) May 22, 2020
There’s not a much more clearer example of this condescension and arrogance than today’s outburst on video. Or perhaps honesty, as Lindsey Graham remarked. That is almost certainly true, but it’s also why the Biden campaign’s trying to sell a lie about Biden making a joke today. In context, this is much more racist than “Kung flu” ever was.
The comments from @JoeBiden were truly offensive, but a rare and honest insight into liberals thinking.
Liberals believe you really can’t be black, Latino, female, or intelligent unless you support their liberal agenda.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 22, 2020
Exit question: When does Biden announce Kamala Harris as his running mate to put this story to rest? Today?