Biden’s friendship with one black person does not mean that he’s a friend to black people.
By Derecka Purnell
The Guardian (5/21/20)
I am very tired of Joe Biden. My vote for him was already hanging by a thread before his disastrous interview with Charlamagne tha God on Friday. Interrupting the Breakfast Club host’s explanation that black people needed assurances that our communities will benefit from his presidency, Biden asserted: “If you’ve got a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or for Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Again, I am very tired of Joe Biden. Not because I am a purist, or have inflexible ideological commitments of what it will take to remove Donald Trump from office. But rather because Biden’s condescension towards black communities is intolerable.
I want to believe that Biden’s condescension started after the respected Representative James Clyburn called the former vice-president an “honorary black man” at a private dinner in March. But his mistreatment of black people, verbally and politically, is decades old, and is a reflection of the Democratic party in general.
Again and again, Biden’s relationship with black Americans, like the Democratic National Committee’s relationship, has been patronizing at best and actively harmful at worst.
Throughout Biden’s career, he has boasted about his ability to bridge partisan divides by sacrificing the needs of black people and poor people in the name of “compromise”. For the last 30 years, Biden has repeatedly talked about freezing, cutting, or raising the age for social security and other benefits – as much as $2tn one time. His response to concerns that these cuts would hurt the poor? “We’re going to do lots of hard things … we might as well do this.”
Social security is an important program for black people, especially as we age. Among African Americans receiving social security, 35% of elderly married couples and 58% of unmarried elderly persons relied on it for 90% or more of their income. The reliance is not due to laziness or spending habits – people of color and white people make similar choices and contributions to retirement – but due to racism, lack of workplace retirement plans and barriers to accessing high-paying jobs.
“They know where my heart is,” Biden has said, of black voters.
But do we?
Senator Kamala Harris was severely scrutinized for her treatment of poor black women as a prosecutor – yet Biden’s criminal justice record makes Harris look like Thurgood Marshall. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2020. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )