Biden’s Comments are just Black America’s ‘Chickens coming home to roost’.
Joe Biden’s statement earlier today caused a twitter storm. Here’s what it shows us about the Black Community.
I’m not outraged. I’m not disappointed or surprised. I’m glad that Mr. Biden made these comments, because this is how he views the Black Community. I’m not shocked by the audacity of a privileged white man that worked with segregationists to oppose busing in the 70’s & 80’s to now believe he can say something like this. I’m not appalled that a geriatric white man that was a main architect of mass incarceration in the 90’s feeling he has the authority to pass judgment on someone’s blackness today. None of this was a surprise because, in my view, this is Black America’s chickens coming home to roost.
The first lesson that I learned as a boy going to the polls with my mother every election day was to always vote for the Democrats — no matter what. Their policies didn’t matter. The candidates’ track record was irrelevant and their name barely mattered either. If there was a ‘D’ by their name, then they were guaranteed to be better than the Republicans, and as a result, deserving of our votes. No discussion needed. Above is the historical context for my reaction to Biden’s statement. His record of racism doesn’t matter to Black Voters. The fact that he referred to Barack Obama as, “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy…” in 2007 didn’t stop Obama from selecting him to be his Vice President. The only thing that matters to black voters about Joe Biden is the fact that he’s a Democrat. Which is why I’ve seen tweets like this on my timeline:
Jemele Hill, a prominent black female sports/pop culture commentator, verified via tweet that she agrees with Biden’s statement. Her disagreement was that he shouldn’t be the messenger because he’s not black himself. This serves as the confirmation of the group think mindset of ‘vote for Democrats at all costs’ in the Black community. I completely disagree with this analysis. One’s blackness is not contingent on voting blue; it’s not contingent on voting at all. The police won’t hesitate to shoot a black person dead just because they voted red. Your jail sentence won’t be shortened if you were a loyal Democrat. In short, you will still be systemically oppressed and marginalized regardless of how, or if, you decide to vote. Blackness isn’t something that you can shed. Our blackness, for better and for worse, will always be there no matter what. It is our gift that this country has turned into a curse. The problem with Biden’s statement is that we have given him, and the Democratic Party, the ability to view us this way.
Any politician, let alone one with as poor a record on black issues as Biden, feeling comfortable enough at any given time to say that a vote against him is a termination of one’s blackness is disastrous. Elected officials work for us, the people. They have no power that we do not give to them. This is proven by the fact that black voters in South Carolina literally saved Biden’s campaign. However, even beyond that, our people have propped up their pitiful excuse of a party for over 50 years. What do we have to show for it? The Voting Rights Act? Voter suppression is still running rampant through our country. School integration? The court ordered busing, that Biden opposed at the time, has fallen by the wayside. Many schools are more segregated now than they were before integration. The mass incarceration, that Biden helped construct, still disproportionately plagues our communities.
Why are we blindly devoted to this party? What is it all for? Are we just lazily throwing our support behind racists with a ‘D’ next to their name, and patting ourselves on the back for ‘honoring our ancestors’? Was part of Dr. King’s dream for us to vote for the same segregationists that worked against him? Did Harriet Tubman risk life and limb just for us to vote for someone that built a career on putting black folks in chains? Did Ida B. Wells risk her livelihood to report on lynching just for us to allow elected officials to have our support regardless of their past racism AND with no accountability for it? Do we honestly believe that we’re honoring the giants that we stand on the shoulders of by blindly supporting this morally bankrupt and subtly racist party?
I know that you’ve been screaming that the Republicans are worse this entire time, so let’s address that now. So what. I don’t care that they’re a few centimeters closer to measuring up to my standards, because both parties fail miserably. I do not plan on voting for Joe Biden in November; however, it would, at the very least, take him making drastic changes to his policy platform to address the long-neglected needs of my community. That, coupled with proven freedom fighters throughout his cabinet, would earn my vote. However, even if I viewed him as the ‘lesser evil’ & planned to vote for him in an effort to oust Trump, what good would it do to profess that now? He has named some policy initiatives, but he still has plenty of room for improvement. His rumored VP pick is a former prosecutor from Minnesota that has wrongfully convicted at least one black man, Myon Burrell. He’ll have to do better than that to earn my vote, even if the Donald is his opponent. Those are my standards because my ancestors died for me to even be able to set them in the first place. It’s the least that I could do to honor them. Black America, are you willing to do the same?