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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit, Monday, March 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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Donald Trump campaign exploits Joe Biden ‘You ain’t black’ gaffe

GOP says Biden has a history of being wrong on race.

In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump, when campaigning for African-American votes, asked “What the hell do you have to lose?”

In 2020, the President and his surrogates look to be making the case again by spotlighting recent gaffes from Democratic opponent Joe Biden, putting them in context of a longer history of quotes on racial matters that didn’t age well.

Friday saw one of those gaffes.

Biden closed an interview with The Breakfast Club , a staple of commercial R&B radio, telling host Charlamagne Tha God and the audience that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

The “Trump War Room,” an arm of the campaign, spotlighted the appearance in an email, provocatively-entitled “Joe Biden Thinks He Owns Black Americans’ Votes. He Doesn’t.”

“Joe Biden’s racist comments are shocking,” the email contends.

It goes on to say that Biden is “not entitled to Black Americans’ vote simply because of their skin color. Yet he acts like he owns them.”

The email also provides evidence of a deep dive into oppo research, including Biden in 1975 enthusing about a “liberal George Wallace — someone who’s not afraid to stand up and offend people, someone who wouldn’t pander but would say what the American people know in their gut is right.”

Whether that reference to a former segregationist Governor of Alabama is relevant to the 2020 political discourse is an open question, given that Democratic voters have overwhelmingly chosen Biden in primaries, with African-American voters in the South turning the tide for a once-faltering campaign.

The email also spotlighted a 1993 quote “about that cadre of young people – tens of thousands of them, born out of wedlock, without parents, without supervision, without any structure, without any conscience developing … predators on our streets,” a reminder of Biden’s support for mass incarceration policies in the Senate.

Expect African-American Republicans to make the strenuous case that Biden is tone-deaf and wrong on racial issues.

State Rep. Byron Donalds, running for Congress as a self-described “Trump-supporting black man,” excoriated Biden.

“This guy, because he’s trying to win an election, comes out and says that if I’m supporting Donald Trump, that I’m not black? Who the hell are you?”

United States Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina likewise was uncompromising in his response to Biden, saying it’s “par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and browbeat those that don’t agree.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Frankie M.

    May 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    How is that a gaffe? If Trump says the same thing he’s praised for calling it like he sees it, for being non PC. He’s telling truth to power yada yada yada. How is this not a double standard they’re holding Biden to? Who are the snowflakes now? I am no longer capable of feigning outrage over every comment, tweet, etc. Trump has desensitized me to the point where I no longer care what he says or thinks. Mission accomplished!

  2. Frankie M.

    May 23, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Can’t wait for DBT to open for Biden at this summer’s DNC! I have one request.

    He was running down the street
    When they shot him in his tracks
    About the only thing agreed upon
    Is he ain’t coming back
    There won’t be any trial
    So the air it won’t be cleared
    There’s just two sides calling names
    Out of anger out of fear
    If you say it wasn’t racial
    When they shot him in his tracks
    Well I guess that means that you ain’t black
    It means that you ain’t black
    I mean Barack Obama won
    And you can choose where to eat
    But you don’t see too many white kids
    Lying bleeding on the street
    In some town in Missouri
    But it could be anywhere
    It could be right here on Ruth Street
    In fact it’s happened here
    And it happened where you’re sitting
    Wherever that might be
    And it happened last weekend
    And it will happen again next week
    And when they turned him over
    They were surprised there was no gun
    I mean he must have done something
    Or else why would he have run
    And they’ll spin it for the anchors
    On the television screen
    So we can shrug and let it happen
    Without asking what it means
    What it means?
    What it means?
    Then I guess there was protesting
    And some looting in some stores
    And someone was reminded that
    They ain’t called colored folks no more
    I mean we try to be politically
    Correct when we call names
    But what’s the point of post-racial
    When old prejudice remains?
    And that guy who killed that kid
    Down in Florida standing ground
    Is free to beat up on his girlfriend
    And wave his brand new gun around
    While some kid is dead and buried
    And laying in the ground
    With a pocket full of skittles
    What it means?
    What it means?
    Astrophysics at our fingertips
    And we’re standing at the summit
    And some man with a joystick
    Lands a rocket on a comet
    We’re living in an age
    Where limitations are forgotten
    The outer edges move and dazzle us
    But the core is something rotten
    And we’re standing on the precipice
    Of prejudice and fear
    We trust science just as long
    As it tells us what we want to hear
    We want our truths all fair and balanced
    As long as our notions lie within it
    There’s no sunlight in our ass’
    And our heads are stuck up in it
    And our heroes may be rapists
    Who watch us while we dream
    But don’t look to me for answers
    Cuz I don’t know what it means
    What it means?

  3. Ocean Joe

    May 23, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Biden’s remark about a group that handed him the nomination, in which he polls 90% support, and which is the most powerful voting bloc in the Democratic party, seems pretty mild when you compare it to Trump’s “there are many fine people on both sides” remark about the confederate flag waving, Aryyan nation, nazi sympathizing, ‘jew will not replace us’ white power gang that mobbed Charlottesville to protest (violently) removal of a statue of a confederate general, who led armies to maintain slavery.

    Then again, the sooner we get this election over with the better! Joe, more basement please!

  4. labman57

    May 23, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty, alright?”
    Donald Trump, August 2019

  5. Frankie M.

    May 23, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    So passe. Is that all you got Donnie..yawn. Now if a Dem says it that’s news!

  6. BlueHeron

    May 24, 2020 at 3:28 am

    1) Charlamagne Tha God does a pretty great job as an interviewer on The Breakfast Club. He’s smart, factual, committed to his goal of making things better for his people and the country. He won’t be blown off like he’s some ignorant black dude who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He definitely knows what he’s talking about.
    2) The interview was 18 min long. The “you ain’t black” comment came at the end. While it was a really, really stupid choice of words on Biden’s part, based on the previous 17 minutes or so, it was a good interview and did show some humor between the two.
    3) Dems having a meltdown need to listen to the interview. “you ain’t black” is out of context but it was said nonetheless. Move on.
    4) Dems have counted on the black vote without having done much at all to fix some of the challenges they face or even overturn things that have been done over the last 25 yrs or so that had a profound and devastating effect.
    While I don’t think the black community will run towards Trump as a result of this “gaffe”, they could also stay home on Nov 3rd. Biden will not win without them so he, the DNC and all Dem elected officials need to figure out what exactly they will do to change some of the really important things having a profound effect on the community. No lip service.
    5) R’s response is typical and no surprise. Clutching their pearls in public being horrified that Biden is a racist. Pretty rich. Biden gave them a chance for a red meat commercial but they are wasting their time and money. As if anything they have to say about NOT being racists and sticking up for “his blacks” is going to move the needle.

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