‘I think the two-party system is good for the South and good for the n***o—good for the black in the South…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Early in the Democratic primary, former Vice President Joe Biden faced debate heat from then-rival Kamala Harris about his past support of segregationist busing policies and working cooperatively with racist civil-rights-era Democrats.
Those with good memories may also recall that Biden’s controversial remarks about his soon-to-be boss, Barack Obama, which effectively helped eliminate him from the 2008 Democratic primary.
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African–American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden told the New York Observer in 2007. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Regardless, in the current election cycle, many black voters—who continue to dominate Democratic Party politics in many Southern states—helped steer him to his historic primary comeback on Tuesday.
Now, some political watchers, including conservative pundit Sean Hannity, are reminding Democrats precisely how offensive their anointed candidate can be.
The Fox News host on Thursday played a 1973 recording in which Biden casually used the second-most verboten “n-word.”
“I think the two-party system is good for the South and good for the n***o—good for the black in the South,” Biden said.
Joe Biden once referred to African Americans as “N*gros”
He also has some other questionable remarks about minorities in his past. pic.twitter.com/9cMVVt1iOE
— ALX ?? (@alx) March 6, 2020
Ironically, Biden, newly elected in his first term as a U.S. senator, was defending the two-party system, shortly after white Southern Democrats had splintered off in the 1968 election to support Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s run as an independent.
That rift helped Republican Richard Nixon to claim the White House, prompting intra-party debates among the Democrats that are similar to those that progressive Bernie Sanders supporters are now raising.
While some on the Left sought, at the time, to repudiate Democrats’ racist politics, Biden was not one of them. Once again, nearly 50 years later, he continues to prove himself to be, above all, malleable in his convictions—willing to shift with the political trade-winds and adapt in the moment to his audience.
GOP-supporting political-action committees recently linked Biden’s glad-handing and political pandering with the old Democratic machine, using Obama’s own words to describe politicians cut from the same cloth.
Our new ad playing in South Carolina: @JoeBiden joined segregationists, wrote a bill that disproportionately jailed African Americans, & blamed black parents for inequality. He will not represent us. pic.twitter.com/9qkiOOYn0V
— Defend Trump (@Defend_Trump) February 26, 2020
“Plantation politics. Black people in the worst jobs. The worst housing. Police brutality rampant,” Obama described in his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father.
“But when the so-called black committeemen came around election time, we’d all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket,” he continued. “Sell our souls for a Christmas turkey.”
Although Obama later demanded that the ad be removed, the pro-Trump Committee to Defend the President refused to acquiesce.
“[We] reject these banal attempts to abuse the legal process and shut down grassroots-driven political speech your firm disagrees with, as doing so is wholly un-American,” CDP wrote in a letter to Obama. “Our commitment to free political speech is absolute.”