“The time when white people can come in our community and get us to vote for them so that they can be our political leaders and tell us what to do and what not to do is long gone”
– Malcolm X | The Ballot or the Bullet
Today’s early morning news cycle had me feeling some type of way…
So much so, I had to hit the blog on my lunch break and vent real swift. I only have a few minutes so trust me when I say, swift!
Sooooo it’s finally official. Joe Biden has finally hopped in the race for the Democratic bid for 2020.
Quick Sidenote* | Before I jump on my political soapbox, let me make something very clear. As a black man living in America, I understand that politics/politicians, especially on the national stage, will never represent my true values nor will they address the real topics/issues that affect my freedom as a black man living in America. So for me, what I find valuable in a candidate relies heavily on policy rather than party identification.
Anyway, Joe Biden entered the crowed 2020 field a day after the She The People Forum. Of course this was a long time coming, but nonetheless, Uncle Joe is finally in the race.
Pretty much like all the other candidates, Joe launched his 2020 announcement with a campaign video…
Ladies and gentleman, this is what made me feel some type of way this morning…
In his 1st 2020 campaign video, Joe decided to highlight the racist acts in Charlottesville. Now I know what you’re probably thinking right now…
“Aren’t you supposed to be happy a presidential candidate is calling out Trump and his racist supporters?”
I mean, after all, I am running a blog that is focused on reversing the 400+ years of misinformation black folks face here today in America. So naturally, you’d think I’d be doing backflips about Joe’s 1st presidential campaign ad…
It’s easy to call out racism when it’s out in the open…
It’s easy to denounce the young group of white men who marched the streets chanting some of the most hateful shit you could think of.
It’s easy to say, “at least I’m not that guy”
It’s easy to call out racism when it shows it’s ugly head, but what about the subtle racism?
What about the racism that’s hidden in plain sight?
What about the racism that’s wrapped in code words that might sound like justice, but really have a double meaning that supports the oppression of marginalized communities.
You know, the racism that sounds like;
“We have predators on our streets that society has in fact, in part because of its neglect, created…they are beyond the pale many of those people, beyond the pale. And it’s a sad commentary on society. We have no choice but to take them out of society…”
Or it sounds like;
“We must take back the streets. It doesn’t matter whether or not the person that is accosting your son or daughter or my son or daughter, my wife, your husband, my mother, your parents, it doesn’t matter whether or not they were deprived as a youth. It doesn’t matter whether or not they had no background that enabled them to become socialized into the fabric of society. It doesn’t matter whether or not they’re the victims of society. The end result is they’re about to knock my mother on the head with a lead pipe, shoot my sister, beat up my wife, take on my sons.”
If you didn’t know, these words came from Joe Biden himself when he was giving a speech about the 1993 Crime Bill. Yes, the same crime bill many Democrats have since then denounced or publically admitted regretted voting for.
It’s easy to call the guy screaming the N-word a racist, but what about the guy who uses code words like “predictors” to dehumanize black bodies? Then pushed for legislation that targeted those so-called “predictors,” resulting in America having the largest prison population in the world…
“As of now, there are more Afro-American men in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850.”
– Michelle Alexander, “The New Jim Crow“
2020 is a long way away from us now, and to be completely honest, I don’t know who I’m voting for when my state has it’s primary.
What I do know is that I will not be fooled or bamboozled with fake social justice platitudes, cause I’ve seen that trick before… I do know politicians are going to be in for a rude awaking if they think they can pander to us millennial activist by simply calling out the easy racist.
Joe Biden’s history with black folks isn’t a pretty one unless you’re thinking about the recent Obama years. Which in itself, should frustrate some, but I’ll save that for a later piece maybe.
A Few Pieces That Highlight Joe’s History With Black Folks:
- Joe Biden’s 1993 Crime Bill Speech Is Worse Than You Think
- How a Young Joe Biden Turned Liberals Against Integration
- From Crime Bill to Iraq War Vote, Biden’s Legislative History Under Scrutiny as He Enters Race
- Did Joe Biden Forget He Was There for the Anita Hill Testimony?
- Anita Hill: I Am Not Satisfied by Biden’s Apology over Handling of Clarence Thomas Allegations
Basically, what I’m really aiming at here is that Joe needs to pump his breaks.
You can’t present yourself as a champion for social justice when you have a history of supporting segregationist as well as supporting policies that disproportionally targeted minorities…
Let me be clear, I’m not saying Joe (and others) can’t evolve or have a change of heart on these issues. However, what I am saying is that Joe needs to realize that there are steps one needs to take before claiming they’re an alley in the fight against racism, and it’s not as simple as calling out Trump for being a racist.
That’s the easy part…
The hard part is learning and comforting the ugly truth of this nation. The hard part is looking deep within yourself and start examining all the ways in which Whiteness has shaped your values and ideology…
Anyway, I just wanted to vent real swift! I’m sure a lot of you might be fans of Joe, so I’d love to hear your thoughts below if you have any!