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Demosthenes's avatar

Do you agree with Biden that you "ain't black" if you're considering voting for Trump?

Asked by Demosthenes (12780points) May 22nd, 2020

Biden recently implied in a contentious interview with Charlamagne tha God, a black radio host, that black people considering voting for Trump are not black (essentially employing the No True Scotsman fallacy). From an article about the exchange:

’“If you have a problem figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden said.

“It don’t have nothing to do with Trump — it has to do with the fact that I want something for my community,” Charlamagne countered. Biden replied that he should take a look at his voting record to see his longtime support for the black community.’

Biden’s adviser Symone Sanders claimed the comments were made in “jest”. That defense never seems to work well for Trump; will it work for Biden?

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33 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

“That defense never seems to work well for Trump; will it work for Biden?”

When Trump says things that his staff (not him) later claim were a joke or in jest, the words were meant to taunt or hurt.

Biden says things that may be off putting or awkward in jest, but they are not meant to hurt.

Caravanfan's avatar

I did not hear the interview. My guess is that context is everything, but it’s still a stupid thing to say.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t hear the interview, but I don’t agree and I think it was a really bad thing for him to say. I know what he means, but people take huge offense to white people telling minorities how they should think and act.

Black people can talk about black culture, but white people can’t. White people can compliment other white people on their speaking style, but they cannot compliment black people. This is the basic way it is now, and that he isn’t getting it will be a problem for him. He basically is saying all black people should think alike.

ragingloli's avatar

Sam Jackson’s character in Django Unchained was black, would you not agree?

Caravanfan's avatar

^^Jackson was fantastic in that role.

zenvelo's avatar

@ragingloli But Tarantino was the writer, director and chose the actors,

Patty_Melt's avatar

I thought it was stupid when Democrats called Clinton the first black president. WTF?!
Now they are telling people who is ALLOWED to BE black?
If I were not already a Trump supporter, that would be a game changer for me.

The native in me says this, THIS is people who make treaties, with no special care in the wording, because they don’t care about anybody but white man, so treaty is a bribe with no payout.

josie's avatar

Agree with above.

Just one more example of how the Democrats are screwing up their relationship with a consistent voting bloc, just like they did with labor.

Such fucking conceit and condescension of a doddering old East Coast white man, that he would announce who gets to be black or not in this election.

On the other hand, if Rachel Dolezal can say she is black, even if everyone can see she is not, then I suppose Biden can say that Trump voters are not black, even if everybody can see that they are.

So there you go.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I can’t believe he said it. But he did.

seawulf575's avatar

Biden has a past history of playing to the blacks. Did he use his best black imitation voice to say it? He has done that before. Here’s the problem…none of the media ever calls him on it. He says the most racist things and people make excuses for him. But the reality is that he is an old white Democrat. Democrats have never done anything for the black community, except try to keep them poor and dependent on the rich white Dems. Biden is no exception. Trump has at least done some good for the Blacks and Hispanics. So Biden is just using the old tactic of the Dems…try guilting them into voting Dem.

Jonsblond's avatar

We’re doomed. Either way it goes we’ll be stuck with a bumbling idiot for 4 more years. I’m tired of having an embarrassment of a president.

Jeruba's avatar

Maybe it’ll be the VP picks that sway the voters. They’re more than a little relevant this time around.

jca2's avatar

Very stupid of him to make any comments or jokes about color.

I agree with @Jeruba. What may be an issue for him now is that if he picks an African American woman as the VP, however, the media will ask her what she thinks of his stupid comment and the VP pick will have to defend it.

seawulf575's avatar

Unfortunately, I believe that Biden’s running mate will be looked at as POTUS. With the concerns about his mental health, he could be deemed unfit to continue to serve in the middle of his time in office, if elected. That would then make the VP the POTUS.

Demosthenes's avatar

@josie Just one more example of how the Democrats are screwing up their relationship with a consistent voting bloc, just like they did with labor.

100%. It’s amazing how consistently clueless the Democrats remain. Four years of complaining about Trump and they’ve learned nothing about how to beat him. They’ve tried to get Trump out of office through impeachment and scandal—anything but actually convincing people to vote for a Democrat.

Jeruba's avatar

Well, he’s apologized, as he should. How long do you suppose we’d have to wait for Trump to apologize for a dumb remark?

LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t see that what Biden said was so bad. Basically he is saying that Trump is a racist and that blacks are making a big mistake if they support him. Biden’s choice of language was not particularly good, but the basic sentiment was on the money.

Jeruba's avatar


> the media will ask her what she thinks of his stupid comment and the VP pick will have to defend it.

That could happen, sure; but I think it’s a sign of how far our norms have been corroded that we have come to expect every vile or stupid act to be defended by everyone who’s not on the other side. An offhand remark isn’t a policy statement.

I can at least imagine a running mate who answers, “You know, that was a thoughtless comment, and it made me cringe, but it wasn’t cruel, hateful, or vindictive, and I believe his apology was genuine. I’d rather have a president who can acknowledge a mistake than one who automatically denies responsibility and points blame elsewhere, wouldn’t you? Joe is still a guy I can work with and support, and if I have to disagree with him sometimes, I know we’ll be able to discuss it.”

JLeslie's avatar

I wonder if Biden would say Jews who vote for Trump are not Jews. I think blacks feel they are singled out a lot and not respected.

I would rather Biden just say he was speaking for himself that he doesn’t understand how African Americans vote for Trump when in his mind Trump is racist, but of course every individual has a right to vote for whomever they see fit. Something like that. The apologies start to get old in my mind, but America does seem to want people to apologize. I would rather have an explanation of what the person really meant, or their intent with what they stated, rather than an apology. I think intent matters, it is easy to word things poorly when speaking on the spot or especially if someone does not know they are being recorded.

Demosthenes's avatar

@JLeslie I would rather they explain what they meant to. But people in the public eye have to apologize and try and put it behind them; that’s what we’ve decided is the procedure.

Darth_Algar's avatar

It was a clumsy and stupid thing to say, but it’s not exactly something that’s going to sway my vote.

As an aside: Biden’s biggest mistake was probably appearing on Charlamagne’s show to begin with. He’s basically a shock jock who’s whole shtick to is bait his guests into angry overreactions.

josie's avatar

So therefore Joe Biden was so stupid that he imagined that appearing with Charlamagne would give him some “street cred”

As if that sad fucker could lay claim to street cred.

He’s a loser.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“Joe Biden was so stupid that he imagined that appearing with Charlamagne would give him some “street cred””


stanleybmanly's avatar

Let’s face it. There’s literally very little that Biden could say that would significantly or for that matter even slightly sway black voters to turn toward Trump. And Biden while clearly in his dotage, will NEVER approach Trump when it comes to tasteless gaffes. Seriously there is no contest here regarding evidence of dementia. On his best day, Trump’s delusions and logic shortfalls top anything else out there.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly Probably, the biggest concern is black voters not coming out to vote for Biden. That they might not feel enthused for him and just not vote at all.

There will be black people voting for Trump and Biden won’t change the mind of that small group already set on doing so.

kritiper's avatar

Generally speaking, that might be true. Anyone who believes that at face value is taking it for the stretch that it is. And Biden jumped the gun by a long mile when he said that. It’s not like anyone has a choice beyond Trump or Biden, a choice who had a chance in hell of winning the White House.
Anybody, and I do mean anybody but not everybody, will always look a gift horse in the mouth. Even in the face of absolute disaster…

zenvelo's avatar

It occurred to me that with most of the people here on fluther being white or Asian and not African American, that we have no business being in a position to judge this statement by Biden.

And from what I have read, most of the Black community agrees with Biden, even if they think it was not phrased with the best choice of words.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I agree with @zenvelo. Black voters have been Democrats since the days of FDR. And in the 60s when the GOP displaced the old line Dixiecrats as the party for the restoration and maintenance of slavery, the lock was understandably fixed. Now, as though the prevailing model of the GOP as the enemy weren’t enough, we have a President that gives the impression of always being on the verge of saying it aloud. Indeed his rather blatant campaign against the “other” brown people is a hint as to just where he’s headed.

Jonsblond's avatar

^Did you watch the video I shared? Not all black people agree. Many black people despise Biden for good reason.

Here it is again:

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course there are plenty of black folks who turn their nose up at Biden. A whole lot of them are big fans of Bernie. But since the race is almost guaranteed to boil down to a forced choice between Biden and Trump, even the Trump campaign knows the best they can hope for is 6–8% of the black vote. In fact it’s pretty obvious that the Trumpets pray that people of color stay home on election day.

Darth_Algar's avatar

There’s a reason why Republican-controlled states close down polling places in minority areas.

kritiper's avatar

I did not watch the video. It takes too darn long to download with my old DUM.

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