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Opinion: Biden's divisive remarks to radio host send the wrong message • Brooklyn Paper

Opinion: Biden’s divisive remarks to radio host send the wrong message

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is seen in an image captured from video participating in a remote video interview with "The Breakfast Club" radio co-host "Charlamagne tha God" from Biden's home in Wilmington, Delaware.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB ON POWER 105.1/Handout via REUTERS

What would be the reaction if President Donald Trump said during an interview, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Biden, you ain’t white?”

It is safe to assume that the mainstream media and progressive elected officials in New York would go berserk. They would accuse him of leading the KKK and condemn anyone who supports the president. Members of Congress would surely use the comments as another excuse to impeach him. 

Last week, during an interview with black radio host Charlamagne Tha God, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden said, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, you ain’t black.”

Biden’s comments came at the end of a tense interview where the radio host had the audacity to ask some legitimate, tough questions including about the former vice president’s cognitive health and the growing perception that democrats take black voters for granted. Biden’s comments just added legitimacy to this last point.

Not surprisingly, many media outlets, including CNN, have completely ignored Biden’s remarks. Again, if President Trump made similar comments, you know there would have been wall to wall coverage. This is yet another example of a bias in the media that the left still denies exists.  

All the while, New York City democrats have remained virtually silent. Progressives portray themselves as champions of fighting inequality and racism, and standing up for minority communities. Yet, they are silent when their candidate for president says that African Americans can’t think for themselves and make their own choice for president.   

What about the 1.3 million African Americans that voted for Trump in 2016? Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the U.S. Senate accurately said, “Joe Biden told every single one of us we ‘ain’t black’…It sends the wrong message to the young people of this nation that you have to stay in line or you’re not black enough.”  

Democrats should walk the walk and talk the talk by condemning Biden for his racist comments suggesting black people can’t think for themselves in choosing a president. 

Also, let’s not forget this is not the first time Biden has put his foot in his mouth when talking about race. He earlier said, “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” 

Here in New York City, many predominantly African American communities have suffered from low performing schools, poor housing conditions, and higher crime rates. Democratic elected officials — some of whom have represented these areas for decades — almost universally oppose charter schools, have been missing in action on the deplorable conditions in NYCHA complexes, and support criminal justice reforms that favor criminals.

President Trump and New York republicans can make a strong case that democrats have taken African American votes for granted, and offer a contrasting vision for policies that will improve schools and communities. These voters can then make an informed decision, and still be black.

Bob Capano has worked for Brooklyn Republican and Democrat elected officials, and has been an adjunct political science professor for over 15 years. Follow him on twitter @bobcapano.

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