The silence is deafening in here!!! What is the matter with my fellow Good Guys? Do you mean to tell me that joe biden says: “I mean, you’ve got the first sort of mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy” and there is silence???
This guy is one of the mouthpieces of the democratic party!!! He’s running for the Presidency?
CAN YOU IMAGINE IF TRENT LOTT HAD SAID THIS???
Seriously, that is a horrible and condescending comment.
It seems to me that it’s all the objection to that that is racist.
If he’d said the exact same thing about a white guy no one one would have batted an eye. It might have been considered a stupid compliment, but no one would have been upset by it and would have understood the point trying to be put across.
Some people are more articulate than others. Being good at that is something that can be pointed out and complimented.
Some people are brighter than others. Ditto with regard to complimenting that.
Some people, not in the sense of people on average being dirty, but in a sense of subjective impression, some people are just exceptionally clean-looking. A sharp Felix Unger sort of look. If I had to say what actor Obama physically reminds me of and looks similar to in a suit, Tony Randall as Felix Unger is a top pick, actually. Having that kind of look instead of seeming disheveled or just ordinary in appearance is probably a plus for a politician.
Some people are nicer looking than others. Untrue?
Again, none of this would have batted an eye if said about a white guy.
So far as POLITICIANS go, is the comment that Obama is, in Biden’s opinion, the first black politician to be “mainstream” and have all these attributes, not just some, really racist of him, or is quite plausible he can’t think of any politician having all that?
MLK had all that, Will Smith has all that, many black men have all that, but these aren’t politicians. And though he didn’t say so explicitly, I think it’s absolutely obvious that Biden was talking about politicians. Not saying that nowhere in America was there any black person but Obama that had all these particular qualities. That would be reaching for the ridiculous to think that was his intent.
Most black politicians have chosen not to be mainstream, and so are instantly not in the running for what Biden is talking about. Maybe everyone Biden can think of is off, at least compared to Obama, in one or more of those categories. For example most people are average dressers and aren’t super-sharp looking (which is what I believe he meant by saying “clean.”)
Including politicians of any race, the only one I can think of besides Obama that fits all those IMO is Romney (who carries the “clean” to being just unbelievably every-hair-exactly-in-place.) I can see what Biden meant.
It’s not an insult to everyone else, it’s an observation about Obama’s qualities. Stupidly put, but I don’t think racist.
As to the fact that Trent Lott would have been crucified for anything similar, true, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Doesn’t mean Biden should be also. I don’t think he’s racist from that or any other reason I know of.