Is Joe Biden a racist? I do not know one’s heart, just their outward actions. His camaraderie with President Obama seemed real even though his early implied ignorance to a black Obama being articulate was initially a put-off.
I don’t want the noun racist to lose its real meaning. It is much more profound than what Biden or many others do. What Biden’s off remarks show is a precise gradation of acceptable disregard of the other when it suits an outcome he wants.
I do believe Biden’s overall goal was to show that he would do what it takes to get the job done for the American people. And that is what governing is all about. But there was some duality in his commentary, and it was purposeful. And it is these cuts, these small slices of the skin that we must not leave in the ethos lest the afflicted bleeds to death.
Yesterday I wrote the piece “Trump and the GOP cabal want Joe Biden, to destroy him. And they’ll pin this tweet on him.”
Remember when Joe Biden referred to Obama as articulate as if it was surprising to see a black person who could generate coherent English sentences? Do I think Joe Biden is racist? Absolutely not in the common notion. But there is an air of him looking at things through a pecking order.
Why did he need to decorate his statement anywhere with “he never called me boy, he always called me, son.” — “At least there was some civility. We got things done.” Two things were wrong with the statement that had he been empathetic he would realize. First, he was not called “boy” because the racist considered him OK for being white. In other words, he will work with Joe because of that. But to equate the times as civil because of civil discourse between a racist and a purported non-racist tells those who did not know civility in those times when their bodies were always at physical risk and their state of mind under permanent stress, show a lack of sensitivity and empathy beyond reason.
And that is who Biden is. And while he could be President without any modicum of empathy in the Republican Party, that just won’t do for Democrats. One hopes the Establishment realizes this early enough before they vest their faith in a several time loser of the Democratic Presidential nomination. It seems some have earned the right to get any number of chances irrespective of their failure rate.
Biden is old with a patriarchal view of society where one must not question his stature or commentary because he knows what he means. And what he wanted to tell are two messages, like Trump, he apologizes for nothing. And like Trump, he does not mind using dog whistles explicitly targeted at the white working class people who have yet to realize that it is their own that’s eaten them whole and not the other. But it takes effort to educate. Let’s appease their ignorance one more election cycle as we ask the others to wait for policies that bring trued equity to all.
We need to stop asking Biden for an apology. We just need to enlighten our fellow Democrats that the old Democratic Establishment method is no longer viable. Stop disregarding the pain of the other to fool the white working class that you are fighting to restore to them what they only had an illusion of having. And yes, Joe Biden is the white moderate Dr. King warned us about.