POLL: Are Biden’s ‘ain’t black’ and ‘can’t read’ comments racist?

MAY 22, 2020

Former Vice President and current presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appeared on a radio show called The Breakfast Club, speaking to popular show host Charlamagne Tha God, on Friday. Several comments he made have drawn criticism as being racially insensitive — at the least.

On the show, Biden said that black voters “ain’t black” if they support President Donald J. Trump over him for President.

Biden said:

“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Biden spokeswoman Symone Sanders shrugged off the comments, saying they were made in jest.

“The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period,” she wrote in a tweet.

Biden also said during the same interview that people in jail were “victims of abuse” who “can’t read” and lack “job skills.”

Biden said:

“Only a couple things everybody has in common in jail.

“One is they were the victims of abuse or their kids were, or their mother was.

“Number two: can’t read.

“Number three: they don’t have any job skills, they were in a position where they didn’t get a chance.”

According to the NAACP:

  • In 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population.
  • African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.
  • The imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of white women.
  • Nationwide, African American children represent 32% of children who are arrested,
    42% of children who are detained, and 52% of children whose cases are judicially
    waived to criminal court.
  • Though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of the US
    population, they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015.
  • If African Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates as whites,
    prison and jail populations would decline by almost 40%.

One critic of the comments, Sana Seed with AJ+, tweeted:

“According to Biden, people are in prison bc they’ve suffered abuse, cant read & don’t have job skills. Not because we have a criminal injustice system that targets black and Latino men. But I guess then Biden would have to discuss his crime bill.”

Another critic called on Charlamagne Tha God to “be real” and admit the comments Biden made were cringe-worthy.

“Joe Biden says everyone in jail cant read & doesn’t have job skills,” tweeted conservative commentator Robby Starbuck. “Please be real @cthagod, you had to be cringing through this + Joe saying Black people aren’t Black if they don’t vote for him. Joe Biden who wrote the crime bill is the same Joe today!”

Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign and leader of its Black Voices for Trump group, was more forceful. She called Biden’s comments, “racist and dehumanizing.”

Do you agree with Pierson?


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