Biden's Latest Gaffe Proves Democrats Have Little To Offer Blacks
Updated: May 15
The party expects black voters to support its candidates simply because they’re not Republican. This nonsense has to stop.
I’ve made no secret of my feelings about the Democratic party. I was a loyal member for most of my life before breaking ranks and going independent, and more than a decade ago I stopped voting altogether. But that’s another story.
My liberal friends think I’m crazy — and dangerous. For them, voting blue isn’t a choice; it’s a necessity, like breathing or braking at a stoplight. They think toeing the party line is the only thing keeping white America from dialing back the Civil Rights clock 100 years. But Joe Biden’s latest gaffe reminds me why I ditched the party that still has black America under its spell.
Democrats no longer have anything to offer my community.
In a May 22 radio interview with host Charlamagne tha God, Biden struggled to explain what his presidency will give blacks that a Trump presidency won't.
BIDEN: Well, I will tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: It has nothing to do with Trump. I want something for my community.
BIDEN: Take a look at my record, man. I extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP [has] endorsed me every time I’ve run. Take a look at the record.
Biden rattled off his “accomplishments" dismissively, as if voting for him should be a no-brainer for anyone born with black skin. As if decades of “experience” in a System that’s obliterated our community was something to be proud of. If he had been a tad less lucid, Biden might have said what he was really thinking: “Look man, I know you people have been screwed for years because I’ve been there, watching the whole time. But if you vote for me, I’ll do my best to make sure you get screwed a little less. That’s not such a bad deal, right?”
And therein lies my biggest problem with the Democratic Establishment. They expect to get the black vote for one reason: they’re not Republicans.
This nonsense has to stop.
“If you don’t vote for me, then you ain’t black.”
-- Joe Biden
Let’s start with the obvious. The idea that any group of people “should” vote the same way merely because they share the same skin color, gonads, or ethnicity is insulting and ignorant. It assumes all members have the same interests and goals, which is the essence of stereotyping. That’s bad, but what’s worse is that Democrats stereotype black people more than any other group.
The Jewish community is predominantly Democrat, but Biden has never told the ones who vote Republican that they ain’t Jewish. Plenty of women are pro-choice, but if they support GOP candidates Democrats don’t chide them for not being female. Yet blacks aren’t afforded the same political freedom. Their “blackness” is conditioned upon voting Democrat.
Such narrow-mindedness in a party staking its claim on sensitivity and tolerance would be shocking — if Democrats didn’t have a history of brazen hypocrisy. After all, this is a party that insists a woman should be believed if she’s groped by a man, but that she should be subject to scrutiny if the man she’s accusing is a Democrat. That defends the rights of GLBTQ Americans, but thinks it’s okay for those in their fold to make homophobic comments. That fights for gender equality, but can call a woman a “feckless cunt” on television. That lambastes others for being racially insensitive, but insults Muslims without apology.
This is a party that’s turned the double standard into high art.
But it’s also a party with a seductive message that entices the good-hearted and well-meaning. Its leaders say all the “right” things and weave talking points that give voters a warm and fuzzy feeling: affordable housing, equal employment opportunities, improving education infrastructure in poor communities, and ending police abuse. Things that look good on a bumper sticker and sound inspiring when read from a teleprompter. Things I once thought the party believed in and would deliver on.
Now, whenever I drive through black communities mired in drugs, poverty and crime, I ask myself: “This is what 90 years of party loyalty has gotten us? This is how we’re repaid for faithfully toeing the party line?” But if I point out the obvious to my Democrat peers, I always get the same response:
"True, Democrats haven't fixed all problems for blacks. There's still work to be done."
Work to be done? I can’t see any work that Democrats have done for the black community in the past forty years. When pressed for specifics or details, Democrats simply regurgitate their warm and fuzzy talking points or give a Biden-esque recap of what the party did for black people half a century ago.
This is more nonsense that has to stop.
If black voters insist on supporting Biden — or any other candidate — they need to start asking these people common sense questions, like: “What are your specific plans to fundamentally improve the quality of our lives? What will do to help us that Trump (or whoever is in office) isn’t doing? And what have you actually done to help us lately? Because relying on a 35-year old record isn’t going to cut it.”
Democrats had a monumental opportunity to reward black voters for decades of loyalty, and that opportunity, ironically, came in the form of the country’s first black president. But what did the man who promised hope and change do for his own people? Almost nothing. Instead of reversing decades of misery, he led us deeper into the abyss.
The undying loyalty of black voters keeps us from seeing what’s staring us in the face. Like a woman who knows her husband is cheating on her, we ignore the obvious. We pretend the relationship is fine.
And black leadership helps us pretend.
Dutiful shepherds like Maxine Waters and John Lewis lead black sheep to polls and deliver them to any candidate with a “D” beside their name — no matter what they’ve done or what they plan to do. Witness how black voters in South Carolina fell in line like dominoes after Congressman Jim Clyburn endorsed Biden, resurrecting his Weekend At Bernie’s campaign and securing his nomination. But what will these voters get in return? Will Biden make any effort to stem the epidemic of drugs, poverty, and crime that plagues their community? Is he proposing fundamental changes to a System that’s grinding them to a pulp?
Black leadership refuses to tell its constituents that they’ve hitched their wagon to a party that does absolutely nothing for them anymore. Why? Because unlike their rank-and-file flock, these feckless minions will be compensated for their loyalty. Only the truly naive would believe that Biden won’t repay Clyburn for his good work in South Carolina in the form of a quid pro quo that black voters will never hear about.
But feckless minions aren’t the only ones who benefit from party loyalty. Liberal whites are rewarded with policies that sound good and soothe their guilty conscience. The GLBTQ community continues to make high-profile gains. Black Establishment candidates trained to regurgitate party talking points watch their careers take off. Yet all the while, the party quietly perpetuates a status quo that guts the poor and allows the upper middle class to cling to the vanishing illusion of prosperity.
And black people don’t benefit from any of this.
“Democrats have done far more for blacks than the GOP.”
Roughly translated: “We may be bad, but the other guys are worse.” This quintessential cop out.
It’s easy to claim that Republicans haven’t done as much for blacks, but why would they? Between 84%–97% of black voters stubbornly cling to the Democratic party, and they’re actively discouraged from fraternizing with the enemy. Trump’s recent efforts to appeal to the black electorate have been derided as “awkward” displays of “showmanship,” and the media consistently dismisses Republican outreach efforts based on the party’s “racist” behavior.
But it’s a different story for Latino voters. 30–40% vote GOP on a regular basis, and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, presidential candidates who ran high-profile campaigns, are both Republican. So why is this group allowed to court the “other” side while blacks must pledge eternal loyalty to Democrats? Has anyone ever suggested that they ain’t Latino if they cross party lines?
I think Latinos can stray because Democrats don’t rely as heavily on their participation. Blacks are the most consistent and reliable voting bloc in the party. They represent 20% of all Democratic voters, and any blue candidate is doomed without their support. Yet this vital constituency is rewarded for their loyalty by being ignored and exploited. What sense does this make?
To be clear, I’m not saying the GOP is offering anything better to black voters. Unquestionably, many of the party’s policies have been hostile to black interests, especially Trump’s recent cuts to social programs. But we wouldn’t be so dependent upon safety nets if Democrats had fulfilled the promises they’ve made to us for decades.
Democrats have become the party of the poor because their negligence has kept large numbers of their base in this condition.
Liberal pundits — the connoisseurs of real politik — are quick to remind black voters to be pragmatic about who can best serve their needs. But they never share the real secret of political power: you gain leverage when you play both sides. Latinos know this secret, which is why they make both parties compete for their votes. They know it’s not smart for any group to move as a herd and pledge indefinite allegiance. Because anyone who is loyal to a fault will eventually be taken for granted, and they will suffer the consequences.
Latino voters have made it clear that they won’t be taken for granted — and Democrats are paying attention. These savvy players understand basic human nature that blacks have somehow forgotten. As my grandmother used to say, “No one will buy the cow if they can get the milk for free.” Latino voters are profiting from the sale of their cow; black voters are giving away milk.
The facts bear this out. While Latinos face many of the same fundamental challenges that blacks do, they’re climbing the socio-economic ladder at a faster pace. Unemployment is 40% lower in the Latino community, their rate of incarceration is nearly half, and they have become the fastest-growing small business owners in the country. Is this a coincidence, or has competition for their vote manifested in greater gains for their community? Might blacks see more gains if they threatened to take their political capital elsewhere?
Granted, neither Democrats nor Republicans will level the playing field for black people because the System is rigged and terminally broken, and it’s been that way for a long time. This System ensures that black and brown people will always be on the bottom (even though increasing numbers of whites are joining their ranks). This dynamic won’t change until a critical mass awakens and refuses to support Establishment candidates from either party who enable a rigged and broken System.
But as long as people are willing to fool themselves and play along, there will always be those who get more out of this System than others. So as long as black voters are playing along, we may as well get something out of it, too — which means we need to be more strategic with our choices.
And hopefully, if we start to reflect on what our leaders have promised us and what we’re getting in return, we’ll eventually realize something much more important: our communities are not only dying because the Democratic party has abandoned us, but because the System, itself, is failing us and virtually all other Americans on a massive level.
When we finally awaken to this reality, it will be a game changer