What Biden’s “Articulate� Means

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In America, racism is as American as apple pie. Ask Senator Joseph Biden.

Many try to pretend that it is no longer a problem. But time and again we are reminded of the grim reality that it is always there, sometimes just below the surface of polite pretense. The recent remarks made by Delaware Senator and Presidential Candidate Biden are a case in point.

In response to a question about Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama of Illinois, Biden called him “The first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy.� For obvious reasons many Blacks immediately took offense to Biden’s use of the word “clean.� Biden said that he regrets his choice of words.     

He claims that when he used the adjective “clean� what he meant was that Obama represented a “fresh and new� type of Democratic candidate. Biden also said that Obama “is probably the most exciting candidate the Democrats or Republicans have produced since I have been around. He’s fresh, new, smart, insightful. Lightning in jar.�

Biden stated that he apologized to Obama and claims that the Chicago senator said “Joe, I knew what you meant.�  But I think it is quite clear that Biden’s comments were a true indication of feelings many Americans harbor towards Blacks---some don’t even know it.     

Racism is anchored in the very foundation of America. Early on the wealthy planters were fearful that poor whites and Blacks would rise up against the economic oppression of the planters. So, to secure the continued exploitation of both, the doctrine of white supremacy was implemented with devastating effects and brutality against Blacks was encouraged. And given that this county was supposed to be a “Christian� nation, as justification for slavery, they argued that Blacks were inferior by nature.    

So, a cadre of leaders was called upon to prove that Blacks were sub-human. Pseudoscience mixed with assorted fallacies was used by prominent whites from all walks of American life to debase and dehumanize Blacks. Here are a few examples.     

First, there is that of Francis Galton the so-called father of the eugenics movement. A cousin of Charles Darwin, Galton in his 1869 work “Hereditary Genius� stated that “the number among the Negroes of whom we shall call half-witted men is very large—I was myself much impressed by this fact during my travels in Africa. The mistakes the Negroes made in there own matters were so childish, stupid and simpleton-like.� Galton also said that “the Negro race occasionally, but very rarely, produced men such as Toussaint L’ Ouverture.� Sound similar to Biden’s definition of “articulate� if you ask me.    

Then there is R.W. Shufeldt. Shufeldt a biologist married the granddaughter of John James Audubon. He wrote two books about African-Americans “The Negro: A Menace to American Civilization� in 1907 and “America’s Greatest Problem: The Negro� in 1915. From the “Menace� here are a few of his most odious views. In one passage he writes “the typical Negro remains very much the same kind of being that he was on his having been brought here from Africa; that of the dozen and odd who have risen to prominence in the Black race of this country are not typical Negroes, but have from sixty to eighty per cent of white blood in their composition, and that blood probably derived from the best class of educated Americans.� He also argued that Blacks “even when crossed with the best of the white, produced no man or woman in any way entitled to be recognized as a profound thinker.� Again sounds very close to Biden’s assessment—that Obama is exceptional; hence, “articulate.�

That these types of views were widespread and mainstream is a fact. Even two of the most “liberal� presidents prescribed to racist views. Here I speak of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is often portrayed by many Americans as the emancipator of African Americans from slavery. And there is an assumption that because slavery was abolished under him that he was free from racism. That is false.    

In 1858, Lincoln in a debate against his Democratic rival Stephen Douglas asserted that “I am not, nor never have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and Black races.� Lincoln went further by saying “I as much as any other am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.�    

And last but not least, we have my favorite hypocrite Thomas Jefferson. Here is the man who wrote some of the most eloquent words in the Declaration of Independence including “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.� Evidently by “men� Jefferson didn’t meant Black men. When I listened to the asinine adjective used by Biden about Obama being “clean� I couldn’t help but think of what Jefferson once said in his 1781-82 work “Notes on The State of Virginia� in which he promulgated the absurd reasoning that Blacks “secrete less by the kidneys, and more by the glands of the skin, which gives them a very strong and disagreeable odor.� It’s curious how the “disagreeable odor� didn’t repel him from his serial acts of pedophilia perpetrated upon one of his slaves: Sally Hemings.

Senator Biden had stellar ancestors.


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