Roach is Used as a Racial Slur: Biden Really Should Explain Himself
December 6, 2019 at 10:54 PM - Views: 118 #235054
Based on Biden’s behavior, I joked that it was only a matter of time before he dropped an N-bomb, stripped nude mid-debate, or did something so outrageous that it would be impossible to deny his lack of fitness. He may have done it, but no one seemed to noticed; after all, everyone is so accustomed to his unique brand of word salad, they just assumed his latest was just another serving.
“I learned about roaches,” Biden said. Now, look at the context of that statement: he was talking about his days working as a lifeguard at a pool patronized by black people, and where he was the only white lifeguard. This statement was said in between his ridiculous hairy leg story, and Biden expressing his somewhat unsettling level of enthusiasm for kids jumping on his lap. This has just been written off as a senior moment, but it may not have been. Roach is a racial slur, an uncommon racial slur, but a racial slur nonetheless, which has waxed and waned in popularity.
“Roach” as a slur for African Americans has been documented:
When Donald Trump slammed majority black Baltimore as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess”, 80-year-old Mary Harper found herself recalling a painful memory from decades ago.
It was the 1960s, and Harper, who is black, had been working at the Cincinnati offices of a big national insurance company that was just beginning to hire more African Americans for entry level jobs. As she stepped on the elevator one day, a white worker turned to her and sneered, “I guess they’re hiring more roaches now.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/08/01/trump-rally-cincinnati-residents-react-to-presidents-racist-words/1840639001/
“While the slur “roach” or “cockroach” has been linked to a variety of ethnic and racial groups in America and abroad, it, too, has been attributed to African Americans, a practice which unfortunately continues today” http://www.environmentandsociety.org/arcadia/american-cockroaches-racism-and-ecology-slave-ship
“Roach” is also listed as a slur for black people on a site claiming to be a database for racial slurs. http://www.rsdb.org/slur/roach
The moment Biden began his 2020 bid for the nomination, it became clear he was was in cognitive decline, and that his campaign would be an awkward mix of tragedy and comedy, fitting perfectly into the strange times we currently live. There was the recurring stuttering, the confused facial expressions, the frequent slurring of words, the occasional mutterings of incomprehensible gibberish, all coming together to produce a person who is be able to make Trump look articulate.
The Democrats, long plagued by political inertia and unable to let go of the false dream of Obamastalgia, have been in a collective denial over something which is obvious to everyone else: Biden is a permanent sinking ship, and nothing is going to change that; he’s just going to keep sinking, polls be damned.
It is bad enough that he doesn’t always know what state he’s in, or that he confused the current prime minister of England with Thatcher.
He really should be confronted about this, and asked to explain just what he meant by “learning about roaches.”There may be another explanation for this, but this is the only one I know of.
December 6, 2019 at 11:26 PM #235082
I doubt it very much.
Roaches (used to be, at least) something associated with newspaper/magazine accounts of ghetto/low-income/substandard housing & slumlords.
I never heard it used as a synonym for black person, but regularly saw it in accounts of housing problems back in the day. If it was meant as some covert synonym for black people, that was way over my head circa the 50s-70s, which is the period i associate the regular slum reporting with. Nowadays you don’t see that much, but slums are definitely still in existence, and they’ve moved further out from the ghetto into suburbs, rural and small town areas as well.
also, as i’m sure you know, with the butt-end of doobies.
December 6, 2019 at 11:56 PM #235104
I’ve heard roach used as an insult implying the person is dirty and/or low class/ghetto before, but not in a way tied to a specific race. The unofficial official online slang dictionary UD also has that definition.
Someone made the point to me that he had to be referring to the kids because, well, what/who else could he be talking about?
Apparently, it is used as a racial slur, but, of course, it’s unclear if that’s what Biden actually meant. Regardless, there is no positive meaning of the word. In the context of how Biden said it, what else could he have meant? I doubt he was talking about smoking weed or the actual insect, and the only other explanation is that it was just utter nonsense, referring to nothing in particular, and just a completely disconnected thought.
Either way, I’d love to hear someone ask him about it.
December 7, 2019 at 2:29 AM #235163
I’ve never heard it used as a slam on any specific person or race. Maybe an east coast/west coast thing. or something. I’ve never heard it used except for real cockroaches and marijuana ‘roaches’
December 6, 2019 at 11:47 PM #235097HassleCatParticipant
- Total Posts: 3,607
Too many other uses make it unlikely he used it as a racial slur. The butt from a joint is a roach. A mobile canteen wagon is a roach coach. And so on.
December 7, 2019 at 2:15 AM #235160MistaPParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,609
a compromise position is that he was talking about the insect, but that if this had been said by anyone other than “the candidate of African Americans”TM (designated by default rather than by anything they did for–or to–the AA community) they would’ve scoured UrbanDictionary.com and rooted through centuries of archives for terminology from the 1630s and then condemned the apology–ffs they damned Sanders for moving his hands around
December 7, 2019 at 2:32 AM #235167
it was actually my suspicion that wherever this latest came from, it was targeted at biden & scouring dictionaries for politically incorrect usages is exactly what someone did.
i still think so.
December 7, 2019 at 2:47 AM #235171MistaPParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,609
yeah, there’s strong hints that Mother cut Harris loose (Booker’ll be next) and is now gunning for Biden via his senility–but again she’d NEVER want a rematch against Sanders and just demand to be parachuted into Milwaukee July 2020, and she’s really not capable of that much foresight (12 months?! that’s almost a whole year!!!)
December 7, 2019 at 3:30 AM #235181FloridaProgParticipant
- Total Posts: 312
Along with everyone here, I’m not a Biden fan. I’ve started calling him Status Quo Joe.
But this “roach” being racist thing is just a bridge too far. Just take what he said and that’s enough.
“And by the way I sit on a stand, I got hot, I got hairy legs that turn, that, that, that, turn blonde in the sun. And the kids used to come up and reach in and pull and rub my leg down, and watch the hairs rise up again. So I learned about roaches. I learned about kids jumping up on my lap. And I love kids jumping on my lap.”
Thats one of the most insane things I’ve ever heard a politician say.
December 7, 2019 at 3:30 PM #235336MizzGrizzParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,038
There are plenty of reasons to disparage Joe Biden and not want him as president,but this isn’t one of them.
I grew up in the South(West Virginia)and the Midwest (Ohio) and in Ohio there has never been any shortage of bad names for black people or anybody else.”Roach”was not among them.
That’s right,there’s more racism in the Northand Midwest than in the upper South,at least in one bear’s experience.
December 8, 2019 at 1:42 AM #235593The Red MenaceParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,080
I’ve never heard the term applied to black people before… but I’ve definitely heard it applied to Mexicans, to Filipinos and Vietnamese, and to my own folks. Along with “rats,” “lice,” “maggots,” and other assorted forms of vermin.
There’s kind of a long history of “verminizing” unwanted minority groups, after all.
So my take away is… i have no idea what the fuck Joe was saying. I kinda doubt JOE has a fucking clue what Joe was saying. But segueing from a story about black children, into some non-sequitor about roaches, and then back to black children? There’s no way for that to not at least look like he’s calling those kids “roaches.” And I don’t care if that’s a weird rare or even unused term against blacks in America, verminizing someone IS racist as hell. Especially when it’s coming from a dude who I already know to be a racist.
December 7, 2019 at 3:53 AM #235186ronRonnie1Participant
- Total Posts: 333
Whenever there is a pot luck type dinner, I always find out who made what. Roaches are disgusting, and I couldn’t imagine them crawling over my food. Ewww.
Roaches has always been a put down like: Your family is poor and y’all have roaches!
December 8, 2019 at 2:46 AM #235611
“y’all have roaches!”
it’s a put-down for someone who keeps a dirty house, but the roaches are the insects, not the housekeeper.
December 8, 2019 at 1:20 AM #235583Ohio BarbarianModerator
- Total Posts: 14,723
I thought I’d heard every American racial slur there is, but this one’s new to me, and I’ve been here awhile. The only time I’ve seen roach used as a racial slur was by the Nazis towards the Jews(also found in the movie Borat) and by the Hutus towards the Tutsis during the Rwandan genocide.
No, that’s not quite right. I’ve heard the term applied to Latinos as well. I don’t know WTF Biden meant, but he should know better.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman
December 8, 2019 at 6:22 AM #235662Snort McDorkParticipant
- Total Posts: 3,780
Yeah. Me too.
I would like someone to bring it up in the next debate to hear his explanation.
I'm Snort McDork and I approved this message.
"I like birdy num-nums"
December 8, 2019 at 9:31 PM #235868
But segueing from a story about black children, into some non-sequitor about roaches, and then back to black children? There’s no way for that to not at least look like he’s calling those kids “roaches.” And I don’t care if that’s a weird rare or even unused term against blacks in America, verminizing someone IS racist as hell.
Right, it’s the context that makes it interesting. For whatever reason, many here are just ignoring the context completely, and dismissing everything because they’ve never personally heard anyone use it that way. So, it has to be more probable and somehow makes more sense that he meant literal roaches at the pool, or that it was a completely unconnected thought about smoking weed, coaches, or motels.
It’s common to dehumanize others by referring to them as something less than human, whether it be animal (those people are like dogs) or insect (those people are like cockroaches). The fact that ‘roach” is not used exclusively to denigrate black people makes no difference. This is hardly an obscure practice from hundreds of years ago, requiring the extensive poring over of ancient texts. Besides, it was brought up in 2019 after Trump’s infestation comment (which actually had more plausible deniability than Biden’s since Trump just said he meant crime, and he may very well have). Biden would either have to concede insanity, because every other explanation I know of is utter nonsense, or admit he was talking about the kids.
Biden’s comment sounded like a Freudian slip of sorts. And, if nothing else, the whole picture, when everything is considered, looks a lot worse than a lot of other bs people have been called out for. Not that it matters in the grande scheme of things, I’d just love to hear Biden fumble his way through an explanation of what roaches he was talking about. I’m genuinely curious.
December 8, 2019 at 9:40 PM #235869LiberalEliteMember
- Total Posts: 1,443
I’m a caucasian in the NE and FWIW was unaware of this particular racial slur.
P.S. Again FWIW a few weeks ago I posted an article about Biden’s lifelong problem with stuttering. It has little to do with old age deterioration.
P.P.S. Just to be clear, I don’t want Biden. I want BERNIE!
I feel much better since I gave up hope.
"If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace." – John Lennon
December 12, 2019 at 5:28 AM #237439Snort McDorkParticipant
- Total Posts: 3,780
Now, now, now people. Lets not get too overextended here.
True that the term “roaches” is or may be a degrading word to use. And if you’re referring to the crawly things, well those can be bad.
But roaches can be good.
I used to smoke them all the time if someone left one in an ashtray!
I'm Snort McDork and I approved this message.
"I like birdy num-nums"
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.