At a conference of Latino and black journalists last Tuesday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gave some rather eye-opening statements during an interview on what he saw as the differences in diversity between the Latino and African-American communities.
“And by the way, what you all know, but most people don’t know — unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions — the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community, with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” Biden told Latina NPR reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro.
“You go to Florida you find a very different attitude about immigration in certain places than you do when you’re in Arizona. So it’s a very different, very diverse community.”
Unlike how it would have been for President Trump had he basically said all black voters think alike, most national media outlets paid only the bare minimum attention to the story when the video clips surfaced Thursday. CNN’s straight news division completely avoided it until after Biden (or his social media handlers) “clarified” his remarks on Twitter a full 12 hours after the story went viral on social media.
Biden’s attempted clarification read as follows: “Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith — not by identity, not on issues, not at all.
“Throughout my career,” Biden continued, “I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community.”
That would probably be more believable had Biden not said the exact opposite, not only in the Tuesday interview, but also during a Thursday roundtable discussion he participated in where he made similar remarks.
Biden’s deduction that all black people think alike comes just three months after he told influential New York radio show host Charlamagne Tha God, who is black, that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Unfortunately for Biden’s campaign, the lowlight reel for him on this issue goes back much further than what he’s said in recent months. These are just two of the more noteworthy examples and come at a time when he desperately needs to shore up support among the Democratic base.
While it’s true that African-Americans typically vote in overwhelming majorities for Democrats, saying they lack diversity in thought is appallingly insulting. I say that from the perspective of a woman who has been told for years by Democrats that I have betrayed women with my support for conservative policies and Republican politicians.
Though President Obama’s former vice president is expected to carry the black vote by large margins in the fall, there are signs in some key states that President Trump’s message is beginning to crack Biden’s wall of support.
The Trump campaign has spent a considerable amount of time and effort trying to win the support of black voters on issues like school choice and criminal justice reform, areas where Republicans and Democratic African-Americans have found common ground.
Though a one-to-three-point shift in support from Biden to Trump among black voters in November might not sound like much on paper, in states where the presidential race is close, it could make the difference between winning the state and losing it — and depending on the state, it could potentially be the game-changer that would decide the entire election.
Joe Biden’s already made two big mistakes in his comments about black voters this year. The likelihood of another one happening before the election is strong, knowing his history of gaffes and flubs.
The only questions are when he will do it next and if the next time around will be the final straw for black voters who feel that the Democratic party takes their support for granted.
Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.