WHY It's Time for Joe Biden TO GO: Democrats Need An Antiracist Nominee to Run Against Trump. Joe Biden ISN'T Up To The Task

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    WHY It’s Time for Joe Biden TO GO: Democrats Need An Antiracist  Nominee to Run Against Trump. Joe Biden ISN’T Up To The Task



    “….Despite Biden’s swelling poll numbers with black voters, we don’t have to trust him. In fact, the former vice president should do the honorable thing after that disgrace of a debate and remove himself from contention for the nomination. Yes, even with him leading most polls. It isn’t about him winning. It’s about the party winning, then having a successful presidency undoing Trump’s racist policies. ….”




    Donald Trump is not merely a bully, but a racist one. Bigotry has been the marrow of his presidency, so whoever hopes to face him next year will need to at least be fluent in the language of antiracism, if not be practicing it. It is not enough, as author Ibram X. Kendi writes in his new book <i>How to Be an Antiracist</i>, to simply claim that you are “not a racist.” Democrats, particularly white liberals, have skated on that for generations. There is too much institutional cruelty for the next president to undo should a Democrat defeat Trump next fall. That is why though they are often contentious and occasionally unpleasant for the likes of Emanuel, debates are essential vetting tests, particularly this time around. Thankfully, ABC seemed to understand this. They had excellent moderators, including Univision’s Jorge Ramos and ABC correspondent Linsey Davis, the panel’s only African American. She asked several questions of the entire field that provoked the kind of frank and open discussion of black concerns and political interests that is rare for a presidential debate. It was fitting, given the setting on the historically black campus of Texas Southern University, but also because Davis said that young black voters consider racism their chief concern.



    However, Davis later directed a question at Biden concerning his alarming 1975 comments on school segregation. She read the full quote, “I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather, I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation, and I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago,” and Biden smirked oddly as she did so. The correspondent followed up by asking, “What responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?” Without missing a beat, the Democratic front-runner delivered a response that was considerably more disqualifying than anything Castro said all night.  Having just had something offensive that he said 44 years ago quoted back to him, Biden took the opportunity to say something that was arguably worse.  After proposing that teacher raises are the first step to undoing the legacy of slavery, Biden said the following. It’s worth reading in full.



    <i>Number two, make sure that we bring in to help the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. The problems that come from home, we need — we have one school psychologist for every 1,500 kids in America today. It’s crazy.</i>

    <i>The teachers are — I’m married to a teacher. My deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. We have — make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school. School. Not daycare. School. We bring social workers into homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children.</i>

    <i>It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t — they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the — the — make sure that kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school — a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.</i>




    That’s the current front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination a) first appearing to treat the mere mention of an old segregationist quote of his as ridiculous, then b) responding to a question about repairing the legacy of slavery by saying that the government needs to have teachers go into the homes of kids in poor schools to teach the parents how to raise those children. And what color are the children, disproportionately, going to those poor schools? Nowhere in that answer is a prescription for making the poor families less so, nor for improving the schools. It’s the kind of paternalistic racism that has so long existed in both liberal and conservative circles, and was on Thursday night spilling out of the mouth of the former vice president on the campus of an HBCU. It was all quite a sight to behold. I should mention that there is a c): Biden never truly gave Davis’ question any serious consideration. Whether or not white political candidates like Biden consider repairing slavery’s legacy to be a more abstract and amorphous notion than protecting Obamacare or ending Trump’s policies of migrant persecution, it is at the very heart of the fight to end systemic racism and white supremacy. Metastasizing both have been top agenda items for the Trump administration. Yet the top contender appears not to have even the vocabulary to engage in an antiracist conversation, let alone combat Trump’s agenda properly. He chose to use that stage to proselytize about <i>record players</i> in the homes of poor families of color who need the teachers to raise their kids for them. Who chooses to do that in a party that needs black voters to win?



    Thursday’s debate was indeed a defining moment, but not for the candidate most pundits claim. While some may cry that the low-polling Castro blew his chance at a V.P. selection or clamor for him to step out of the race, it is the man he targeted whom we need to be focused upon. The former vice president can trumpet his Obama associations all he wishes, but after that debate, it comes across merely as the “I have a black friend” excuse. Biden is not only deficient as an antiracist, if he ever was one, but he is saying things — at a Democratic debate on an HBCU campus, no less — that make it absolutely impossible to trust him to be the party’s best candidate to address systemic racism and to ameliorate the nation the current administration leaves behind. If defeating Trump in 2020 is as important to Biden as he so often claims, he should end his campaign and remove himself from contention for president.






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