Come on, man. Blacks are diverse. Each Black person lives as a unique creation with an individual combination of values, beliefs, opinions, knowledge and gifts. Black individuals think for themselves and comprise a community no less diverse than any other demographic.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden needs to learn this if he wants to lead the most ethnically diverse country in the world. He clearly does not get it, routinely reminding us how he views all Blacks essentially the same.

Consider Biden’s words:

— “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said in describing Barack Obama in 2007. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

By saying this, Biden exposed his belief that most Black people — with an exception so rare it belongs in a storybook — are not articulate, bright, clean, or nice-looking. There is no other way to interpret his statement.

— “I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden said to a Black radio host in May who said he had more questions for the candidate. In other words, all Black people support Biden. Those who don’t are so nonconforming, and so contrary to his assumption, they don’t belong to the Black community.

— “You know, if it’s all Black it’s gonna vote Democrat…I don’t care if it’s Black or whatever color but it’s going to be Democrat now.” Biden made the comment while interrogating a nominee for associate attorney general in 1985, asking whether gerrymandering by race is “racial” or “political.” It’s one of the multiple comments in which Biden assumes Democrats always can count on Blacks to support them.

— “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids,” Biden said this year, suggesting all nonwhite kids are poor.

These and other comments are not one-off gaffes. They reflect a consistent history of Biden stereotyping minorities and telling them who they are.

The latest installment came Thursday when Biden pandered for Latino support by telling NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro how all Black people are alike — unlike “you all” Hispanics.

“What you all know but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community with notable exceptions the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” Biden said.

Blacks, by contrast, don’t have different attitudes about different things. His “notable exceptions” might include “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean.”

Never confuse why Barack Obama, the first Black president, chose Biden as his running mate. He did so for the same reason anyone chooses a running mate. To balance the ticket. Obama was a Black civil rights advocate, and Biden led the charge against integrating schools with busing. Obama was a contemporary Democrat; Biden an old-school Democrat who worked closely with Southern segregationists.

“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me ‘boy.’ He always called me ‘son.’ At least there was some civility. We got things done,” Biden said in 2019, boasting of his work with the Mississippi Democratic senator who called segregation “the law of nature, it is the law of God.”

“I get along with Strom Thurmond because I respect him. Because Strom Thurmond believes deeply in what he does, and he is a consummate legislator,” said Biden, in one of a long series of comments that celebrate the former segregationist senator who said, “there’s not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.”

Biden cannot talk about race without revealing prejudice. To hear him talk, all Blacks are pretty much the same — a view shared by his closest friends in Congress. It’s an outdated and sad view to share with a country torn by racial strife.

The Gazette Editorial Board


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