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Biden the Bigot

Wednesday, January 31, 2007, 20:17 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

U.S. Senator and perennial presidential candidate Joe Biden jumped into the 2008 race yesterday. Did he also inadvertently tell us what he thinks of black Americans? He may have, while dishing out jabs against his Democratic rivals.

Mr. Biden is equally skeptical—albeit in a slightly more backhanded way—about Mr. Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

But—and the “but” was clearly inevitable—he doubts whether American voters are going to elect “a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate,” and added: “I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.”

Sen. Obama was wise to issue the standard “no comment,” evidently preferring to let Biden do himself in.

Questioned about Biden’s comments at a Washington news conference, Obama said: “You’d have to ask … Senator Biden what he was thinking. I don’t spend too much time worrying about what folks are talking about during a campaign season.”

You can listen to a 17 second clip of the actual remark.

Just so I’m clear on this, it sounds like Biden said there has never been a mainstream African-American who was “articulate.” That must come as quite a surprise to those familiar with the magnificent oratory of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Martin Luther King, Jr. It sounds like Biden said there has never been a mainstream African-American who was “bright.” Perhaps he has never heard of scientist George Washington Carver, U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke, or writer Maya Angelou. “Nice-looking” is a matter of personal preference, but I can’t even talk about the “clean” part without feeling sick to my stomach at the thought of what Biden meant by that.

I’ll bet that if pressed, Biden would profess great admiration for black people, insisting that some of his best friends are black. Apparently, he thinks they’re mumbling, stupid, dirty, and ugly.

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