Friday, September 24, 2021

VP Joe Biden’s Racial Remarks Need an Apology, Not More Excuses.

August 17, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( President Barack Obama is defending VPJoe Biden’s recent and most controversial remarks. In reference to Republican deregulation, Joe Biden said that Republicans are seeking to “put ya’ll back in chains,” an obvious reference to slavery.  With an audience that has quite a few African Americans in it, those words can be interpreted in a number of interesting ways.  We know that most black people will gladly support their favorite Democrat, in many cases, not even looking at the policies.  But must we get the black vote by conveniently referencing the most traumatic experience in African American history?

President Obama stood firmly with his Democratic partner, explaining away Joe Biden’s remarks (as he typically does).  The president says that Joe Biden was simply trying to make his point about the importance of strong financial market regulation.

In no sense was he trying to connote something other than that,” Obama said.

I was saddened that the president is unable and unwilling to see Biden’s statement for what it was:  A misguided and insensitive remark from an old white guy who doesn’t understand that slavery was very painful for our ancestors.  Slavery was our holocaust and is in no way comparable to the consequences we might experience with Republican deregulation.  When  talking about the things that will get you back into office, you shouldn’t make comparisons with September 11th (which Joe Biden would not) and you shouldn’t use analogies that reference slavery.  Some experiences in history should not be politicized for your own personal benefit, and President Obama knows it.

But perhaps the reason President Obama is hesitant to hold Joe Biden accountable for his blatant racial disrespect is because he’s accepted the role as Joe Biden’s in-house negro apologist. After all, Biden has referenced President Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean.”  So, given that Barack is the first bright, clean and articulate black man he’s ever seen, that could explain why Biden’s boy in the White House gives him a pass, even when he slaps his heritage square in the face with a set of remarks he wouldn’t dare repeat to any other Democratic constituency.

You think I’m full of it?  Well, here’s a test for President Obama.  I would like for him to send Joe Biden to speak to a group of female sexual assault victims, and tell the women that by not properly regulating Wall Street, Republicans are going to “rape them all over again.”

After that, I’d like for him to speak to the Anti-Defamation League, which represents the Jewish community, and say “Republicans are going to put y’all back in concentration camps.”

In his next speech, Joe Biden should go to a group of Hispanics and say, “They’re going to treat you like you’re an illegal alien who’s been detained while trying to cross the political border.”

Finally, he should send Biden to a group of gay constituents and let him say, “Republicans are going to bend you over and screw you with no Vaseline and beat you like the bullies did in high school.”

If Joe Biden can go into those venues and make those remarks while still having the comments written off as harmless by our first black president, then I’ll be convinced that we might have some semblance of equality.  The fact is that there are times when an apology is called for and this is one of them.  By refusing to apologize for Biden’s remarks, the Obama Administration is effectively minimizing the relevance of African American sensitivities and telling black people that they should simply get over it.

There is no other way to interpret this hypocrisy, and those excusing every ounce of BS coming out of the Obama Administration are as ignorant as the housewife who refuses to watch videotaped evidence that her husband is sleeping with the neighbor.  Supporting Obama is one thing, but excusing every ignorant remark by Democrat leaders is another.  This paternalistic racism being thrust by the Democratic Party is no different from the way a pimp claims to love a prostitute.  A benevolent pimp might say, “because I care about you, I can call you a b*tch without apologizing and you have no right to be upset about it.  Don’t bite the hand that feeds you b*tch.”

Anything short of an apology proves the obvious: That the disrespect of black people doesn’t matter to Democrats and that a powerful white Democrat can say damn near anything to us, knowing that no black politician in the White House is ever going to stand up to him.  If Biden were a black man making all of these irresponsible remarks, he’d be out on his butt no matter how clean and articulate he might be.

Perhaps we aren’t being respected because we simply don’t demand it.   Joe Biden was wrong and he owes African Americans an apology.  If he were to say something similar to any other group of constituents, his hat would be in his hand and he’d be back-pedaling. Black people must learn to stop excusing ignorance and disrespect, even when it comes from our so-called friends.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit


19 Responses to “VP Joe Biden’s Racial Remarks Need an Apology, Not More Excuses.”
  1. Old Geek says:

    The first thing that struck me about this article was the comment “…by conveniently referencing the most traumatic experience in African American history?” Really? One hundred and fifty years ago…if any of you actually remember being slaves, please speak up. Hell, my ancestors were slaves, too. The Romans, Greeks, and Gauls ALL had a piece of my bloodline.

    Both parties play racism to their own ends. The Dems want to keep minorities on welfare (and if you don’t know how horrible that system is, ask around). The Republicans want to rebuild the ghettos and keep blacks in their own neighborhoods. Because gang-bangers and drive-by shootings are sooooo good for raising kids.

    Obama chose Biden because, as an “African-American who is articulate and bright and clean”, he needed a white guy to play the role of uneducated bigot. He found one in Biden.

    Quit being sensitive about what politicians say; they are, after all, using a time-share for that brain cell.

  2. hoodgirl says:

    Approximately 10 years ago a young man contacted me to assist him with the purchase of his first home. At that time he was the custodial parent of his three children.

    He shared with me how he was a high school dropout who had been gang banging and selling drugs since his early teens. He told me he went to prison numerous times before the age of 21 and throughout his prison releases his homeboys picked him up and they sold drugs from the prison to their hood.

    Then he began to tell me how he became the custodial parent of his three children. He recalled being in prison when he got the news that his three toddler children were in state custody because they were in the home when their mother overdosed off herion and there was no family to take them.

    He said when he got the news he immediately recalled not having his father in his life and the poor choices he made that led to his incarceration. He also said it was at that moment he promised himself that he would clean up his act to get custody of his three toddler children to prevent them from going through the life he had experienced up to that point.

    Less than a year after this young man purchased his home he got married. Today his children are high school graduates and gamefully employed. This young man gives the power to family, hard work and personal responsibility.

    It is my opinion that if we stopped blaming slavery, racism, republicans, etc. for our woes and followed this young man’s lead by giving power to family, hard work and personal responsibility our community would thrive.

  3. Hoodgirl

    I believe Liberia was founded by free slaves from America and slaves who were freed from slave ships. I don’t know who the original people were. As far as MLK, I agree this is how it should be, but until every other group thinks this way, we as Black people should support each other. Black people are the only people who don’t lookout for their own because of the mental effects of slavery that are still with us. That’s why every other group makes fortunes in our community while we continue to struggle. We seem to be the only people who believe in the MLK way. It’s worked for some of us, but that leaves out most of us. But even those that have been successful have gotten caught up in this depression, and a lot of them aren’t getting work because of racism, which is still alive and well in this country.

    Every single group of people has their own community, including the white community, except us. These groups know that by working together they can protect themselves, keep their culture intact, and generally accomplish more than they would trying to so called integrate, which still hasn’t worked in my opinion because of racism. As far as the crumbs we receive from the democrats, if you were hungry, a little food would be better than no food, which is what we’ll get from the republicans. I agree with you, we should be working together as you say to develop ourselves in order to build a strong economic foundation in the Black community so we can control our community and demand what we want from a position of power, instead of begging for the crumbs we get. This is what other powerful groups do, including the wealthy who actually control this country

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness.

  4. hoodgirl says:

    No need for a Black History lesson. I’ve heard enough from my Ethiopian friend of 20 years and Liberian husband of 19 years. It is very dangerous to disregard MLK’s message of judging a man by the content of his character not the color of his skin.

    Empowerment will never come from being satisfied with crumbs from Obama and the Democratic Party. No one should blame others for not developing one’s own self in this day and age.

  5. Hoodgirl

    Cont’d, China was colonized by the British. Maybe not all of China but major parts like Hong Kong, Shanghai and more. Japan wasn’t colonized because they have no natural resources. But they were atomically blown up into submission by us. Ethiopia was the only country that wasn’t colonized in Africa. I just wanted to add a little Black history for you. I don’t want this debate to get too negative. I’m about bringing Black people together.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  6. hoodgirl

    I stand corrected. It was Bush that signed the 700 billion dollar TARP bailout of the same corporate greedy bankers who put in this depression in the first place. You are right that Bush signed a 150 billion stimulus package in 2008. President Obama signed an 831 billion stimulus package in 2009 that covered more then giving people a check. His plan covered tax incentives for individuals and businesses, healthcare, education, aid to low income workers, unemployed, and retirees, transportation, infrastructure, and more. In my opinion he did more with his stimulus package – 831 billion, then Bush did with his 700 billion, bailing out his corporate cronies. Also President Obama didn’t put us in this situation; it was 8 years of Bushonomics.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  7. hoodgirl says:

    Biden talks like this because he is the epitome of the Democratic Party where in their wildest dreams they would never invision not having a stronghold on black Americans. I agree with Dr. Condoleezza Rice, you don’t have to tell me what it means to be black because I am BLACK.

    Both Bush and Obama signed Economic Stimulus Packages passed by Congress. In the spring of 2008 the Bush Stimulus put $300 billion into the pockets of low to moderate income families in the form of tax refund checks/deposits. In the spring of 2009 these families were anxiously awaiting their tax refund checks/deposits to arrive from the Obama Stimulus which everyone knew would be much larger than the Bush Stimulus.

    Needless to say low to moderate income familes never received a tax refund check or deposit from Obama’s 2009 Stimulus but Obama did give $1.1 trillion of taxpayers hard earned money to Big Banks in the spring of 2009 without any stipulation that they would help the American people through the largest economic crisis since the great depression.

    Europeans virtually colonized every country accept China and Japan so its no accident that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a pillar of strength around the World for demanding freedom!

  8. Biden talks like this because Black people aren’t united like the Jews and Gays are. If we were united and flexed our united muscle this wouldn’t happen, and if it did, there would definitely be an apology given. To say that Biden is just being Biden is an insult. The President supports Biden because he is his Vice President and can’t show any division between them, especially in an election year. There are definitely some white people commenting on this site, or at least white thinking people. After all, the site is called, Thy Blackman.

    I do agree that the ID laws are another way to at least make it harder for people to vote. As far as politics, I said this before and I’ll say it again, I don’t understand how a Black person could vote for a republican unless you are wealthy, or a southern Christian. The Republican Party cares little for the average American, let alone helping Black people.
    Yes the democrats tax and spend, but a lot of that money goes to helping the poor and middle class, except for that 800 billion, which was setup by the bush administration, which is proof positive the republicans care little for the average American.

    Yes President Obama did sign it, but it was already a done deal. The democrats do take advantage of the Black vote, but they will give us a few crumbs, where as the republicans won’t even do that. They’ll leave us hanging while telling us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps when we don’t even have boots. I’m not talking about handouts. If we received our 40 acres and a mule, we would probably own this country, which is why no one wants to talk about reparations. Yet the descendants of slave owners and every other European are still benefitting from slavery.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  9. Stephen Tantalus says:

    Mr. Jim Ward,

    “Republicans… have a long history of racially dividing this country,” quoth you? Are you referring to when they literally divided the country through secession in order to defend slavery of African-Americans? Wait… I apologize, that was the Democrats; I get the two mixed up sometimes. Are you referring to the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution? No, sorry again, I got mixed up, that actually abolished slavery. I guess I’m drawing a blank, because it seems the Republican Party has an approximately One-Hundred-Fifty year history of promoting racial equality.


    Stephen Tantalus

  10. Alex says:


    This was a great read.

    I see your point about him alluding to race and slavery, but I’m not shocked because that has been a tactic of the Democratic Statists(aka Progressives, aka modern Liberals, aka modern Democrats) since Thomas Jefferson was begging everyone to actually read the constitution.

    It became quite obvious early on in the political history of this country that the allowance of slavery, while an indication of absolute liberty from the constraints of government, was unacceptable and antithetical to the concept of Liberty. So, its the perfect buzzword-buzzkill to enrage/manipulate Black people into turning away from the prudence of small government, liberty, and free markets to vote for the Statist’s highly elite, nanny-state, you-can’t-do-better-for-yourself, gov’t takeover. Growing government is like building a powerful weapon, the sore consequences of which only become evident when it ends up in the wrong hands.

    Here’s the thing… yes, it took time and a bloody conflict over Statism(the Civil War) to put enough pressure on the states to amend the constitution to end slavery, and, yes, slavery should have been abridged from the acceptable natural rights of citizens of America, but that is NOT an argument AGAINST the notion that you and I, black or otherwise, can take better care of ourselves than a police state with a drug war, can teach each other to be civil better than the imposition of laws and regulations, and deserve a fair choice of currency whose value does not slip out from under us to ensure the losses of the well-connected or cater to a terribly uncivil foreign policy.

    The more we play into fear, the more a fewer number of people will make all of the decisions, rallying our every passion-filled plea for freedom and equal treatment to trade votes for hopes.

  11. insight says:

    Obama felt the need to stand up for his friend and ally only confirms that Dems really do see “us” its largest voting block as disposable. Obama gave more than $800 billion of taxpayer money to Wallstreet/Big Banks and left Mainstreet to fend for itself. Jeffrey Immelt, Obama’s Job Czar is the only one who’s sending jobs overseas.

    On January 1, 2013, the adjusted gross income for medical deductions will change from 7.5% to 10% which is a tax increase on the middle class to pay for Obamacare. All taxpayers need to be unshackled from the Democrats tax and spend policies which are bankrupting America and leaving our children without a future.

    ROMNEY/RYAN 2012!

  12. independent voter says:

    PA? Dems have the appalachian people so afraid until lets hope they can see through their demogogary come Nov 6.

  13. This is a bit of a reach. Everything is not a slavery reference or some racial dig. Joe Biden is a good guy. The man has been a public servant the majority of his life, and if you notice, he misspeaks alot. That’s Joe’s charm. He’s a regular person. The assumption by extension of the post is no one else does this. Everyone here has said something off. I will grant you his language was crude, but going after Biden is … ridiculous on it’s best day.

    And of course the president stuck up for his friend and vice president. It’s absurd to think he wouldn’t. Joe has been devoted to this administration. The garbage Obama has had to go through to effect even the most basic of advancements for the country; Joe has been there the entire way. So yes. Obama did, and was perfectly correct in standing by him.

    Also. Forgive the tangent, but a side note needs to be addressed. The voting thing. No one is denigrating blacks saying they can’t get a voter id. That has absolutely nothing to do with it. Point of fact. You can count on one hand the number of times voter fraud has been found. It’s a unicorn that’s popping up because of the demographic shifts of the country. The point of the voter id laws are to disenfranchise voters. Period.

    Not everyone lives in districts that have a robust infrastructure and not everyone needs a license. Not to mention, what most people know of politics can fit into a thimble with room to spare. It’s absolutely conceivable that people will show up at the polls and not have the appropriate id. Particularly when it’s being jammed through close to the election.

    It’s estimated that millions will be affected, and it’s not just Black and Hispanics. It’s also elderly and many students. Texas went so far as to say you can use a gun license, but not a student license. Considering what Blacks went though to get the right to vote. Listen to King’s conversation with LBJ just before the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965…I believe. The people killed, beaten; the idea that any person of color can support what literally amounts to a poll tax is disturbing to say the least and absolutely ignores the greater context.

    Voter Id is just one tactic. Limiting early voter days, voting resources. Ohio went so far as to limit days in democratic districts while expanding them in Republican leaning districts. They only recently recanted due to public pressure and limited every district’s voting to make the task that much harder. Whether blacks can get id is immaterial. The argument has to do with why the laws are being enacted in the first place. And like Republican house leader in PA, Mike Turzai said, “Voter Id which will win Romney Pennsylvania, done!”

  14. Troy says:

    Great article. The democratic party is clearly assuming we will tow the line no matter what. I think the whole idea is to keep the racial heat going and in turn maintain a hold onto the african American vote.

  15. hoodgirl says:

    The Democratic Party has been disastrous for our community. Imagine being told every day that we are incapable of getting an ID to vote, a job to take care of our family, and education to excel while the Democratic Leader defends Joe just being Joe. Even MLK knew that power is never conceded by the Oppressor it must be demanded by the Oppressed, ROMNEY 2012!

  16. James Davis says:

    Look, let’s face it Dr. Watkins, the following headlines will greet us in November, the day after the national elections if we repudiate Mr. Obama.

    Romney Wins!

    Mitt Romney wins the Presidential election. Republicans regained the Senate and held onto a majority in the House of Representatives. It was a repudiation of Mr. Obama polices by the electorate. This ensures a conservative Supreme Court and federal judiciary for years to come as judges retire and leave office.

    Instead of repudiating him, I would like to see more serious writers like you repudiate his policies and his inaction in regard to presenting us with a credible job creation plan. We still have time! With the official rate of 15 black males out of every 100 being unemployed, we have a serious economic crisis on our hands. We can only guess what the unofficial rate is, 20-22, or maybe in some areas as high as 25 out of a hundred. Biden was wrong, Mr. Obama knows it, you know it, and now the wise readers of this article know it.

  17. Isa Kocher says:

    in fact, romney has spent his entire adult career giving american workers’ jobs to indentured slavery. that is the fact. he sells out the american worker, and the jobs go to workers with no rights, not even to go take a piss. romneynomics is corporate take over of government for private profit of the very few at the public expense of the rest of us, something every economist with an IQ above room temperature has proven beyond any possible quibble. He rejects basic science as a liberal scam: does it pass the smell test that all the world’s scientists have conspired but the CEOs of energy corporations, their bought and paid for politicians and their pedophile priests have not lied? No fetuses are not and GE is not and Chase Morgan and BP are not people. Biden is right and when you divide American workers on racial lines, you are the racist. Not Biden. When democracy gets replaced by corporate cleptocracy you get what we have today, a USA by every measure of health education welfare and workers’s rights behind every other industrialized country on the planet. Tparty astroturf thugs can threaten US congress members and spit on them, national heroes, but unarmed pacifist #OWS is gassed, tazered, and beaten by riot geared police: smells like they don’t care about race but about tyranny. It is we the people and Biden is for the US in USA.

  18. Jim Ward says:

    Vice President Biden is a good man, a great leader and has an outstanding personal and public record of achievement. Why do so many commentators — and even Democratic leaders — feel the need to preface their calling out the Republican lies with the notion that Biden said something wrong? Americans ARE hugely shackled by debt, by the banks and by Wall Street. Republicans — who, by the way, have a long history of racially dividing this country — are seeking to further unleash Wall Street and the banks via deregulation. The chains are real and they will only get tighter if Ryan/Romney have their way. Stop apologizing and fight. We — black and white alike — DO need to free ourselves from the chains of the conservative Republican policies that have destroyed our downtowns, squashed small business, sent good American jobs overseas, fed the bloated military contractors, increased corporate welfare and more…

  19. Sue says:

    I can’t say much more than a wholehearted Thank You….your examples of what he should say to other groups are absolutely right on point. Again, thank you.