Bidenblogging II: White Hunter, Black Heart

Joe Biden (seen right collapsing after being shot in the chest by liberals), only hours after making the front page of Hit and Run, is getting hammered for this interview with the New York Observer's Jason Horowitz.

Mr. Biden is equally skeptical—albeit in a slightly more backhanded way—about Mr. Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
But—and the “but” was clearly inevitable—he doubts whether American voters are going to elect “a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate,” and added: “I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.”
I guess I have Stephen Colbert's disease and can't see colors, because that statement didn't jump out at me. Biden is saying that Sen. Obama is the first black candidate with no baggage and a legit shot at the presidency. (As the audio makes pretty damn clear, the "articulate and bright and clean" stuff is a compliment about Obama.) Even under the least charitable interpretation of what Biden said, this is true. There have been five other black candidates for the presidency:

- Jesse Jackson, a controversial civil rights activist with no elective experience.
- Al Sharpton, a super-controversial civil rights activist with even less elective experience.
- Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, who had some elective experience but an extremely shady past that killed her Senate career.
- Rep. Shirley Chisholm, who had very little elective experience, but who ran a good fringe campaign. (See here.)
- Alan Keyes.


As lots of people have pointed out, Obama distinguishes himself from this field by 1)being more than the "black candidate" and 2)having the kind of political operation that could actually win the prize. (Although Jackson came closer than people remember, winning even the... Delaware caucus.) And the rest of Biden's remark makes sense in the context he just explained to Obama. (He meant "clean" in the sense of "spotless, not corrupt," as opposed to whatever Althouse thought he meant.)

Very strange. Liberals are giddy about the prospect of Obama kicking the last generation of black leadership to the curb. But they get very angry at people who say this.

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  • ||

    Biden is saying that Sen. Obama is the first black candidate with no baggage and a legit shot at the presidency.

    Your color lipstick looks real good on that pig.

  • ||

    "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy"

    This is a rather patronizing statement. Zebra-boy may deny his whiteness, but he's just as white as he is "African-American."

    Secondly, calling a Negro (or half-breed) "articulate" is extremely condescending. Imagine if Biden'd said "Obama hates fried chicken" or "He smokes regular cigarettes not Newports."

  • ||

    For the record, the movie referenced in the title is awwwfullll.

  • ||

    Hey, maybe we should back Biden. After all, America is truly in need of a president who has a deep and abiding respect for the sound of his own voice.

  • ||

    Sorry but that was somewhat condescending. No sense its meant to be a slight but nevertheless, its not a great way to make the point intended

  • jhupp||

    Alas, the man also has track record against him. I don't think he's a racist in the least, honestly, but he has this rather unfortunate way of phrasing his remarks about race that come across that way. His well-established lack of verbal filter, which usually manifests itself as a length rather than content problem, is trouble.

  • ||

    It is considered offensive to call an African-American man "articulate." If you do not understand why, please study this website, paying particular attention to the testimonials left there.

  • ||

    "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," he said

    (As the audio makes pretty damn clear, the "articulate and bright and clean" stuff is a compliment about Obama.) Even under the least charitable interpretation of what Biden said, this is true. There have been five other black candidates for the presidency


    I think you are being rather generous to Biden. Even under a charitable circumstance, what he said is untrue.

    His statement seems to be implying that other African American candidates weren't articulate or bright or clean or mainstream or "nice-looking" (whatever that means). Last I checked, in '88 Jackson got about 33% of the delegates (that seems to be pretty mainstream -- the guy got 55% of the vote in Michigan, if I remember correctly) and he was intelligent and quite articulate as well. My ex-senator Carol MB was quite articulate and not ugly by any means. As for what people are speculating as "clean", I may be wrong, but I don't remember a lot of dirty history surrounding Jackson in '88 either (regardless of the type of attention whore he has turned into of late)

    Biden's statement also does remind me of the Chris Rock "He's so well spoken" routine.

    And based on the quote and context, we are assuming he was talking about African-American presidential candidates....but that assumption is not necessarily proven to be true by the quote. It could easily be taken to mean that he considers Obama the only mainstream African-American who is all those things(not just presidential candidates) -- although I don't think he meant it that way.

    In any case, it's a sloppy/poor choice of words for a guy who is going to need to appeal to African Americans if he wants to win the Dem nomination....most of whom don't consider Jackson and Sharpton and CMB stupid or inarticulate etc. Add to that, the fact that he has chosen poor words before (i.e. "You can't go into a 7-11 or Dunkin' Donuts without and Indian accent" and "I think I can win votes in the south since Delaware was a slave state") he is starting to remind me of the old guy who can't understand why "them people" don't like to be called "Negroes" or "Coloreds"

    Go Bears!

  • ||

    Not to mention Biden's argument that he can win the South because Delaware was a slave state. That's what we call a "twofer" - he can tick off black people and southerners at the same time.

    And Jesse Jackson was "controversial" enough to win 1/4 of the delegates at the convention and the primaries about, IIRC, 11 states.

  • ||

    It is considered offensive to call an African-American man "articulate." If you do not understand why, please study this website, paying particular attention to the testimonials left there.

    That's fucking hilarious..

    Sally always says things that make me feel special, like: "You're so cool, you're different, you're not like other Black people!"

    That one was my favorite.

  • ||

    I wonder what Weigel would have done if I would have said that sentence? My guess is Weigel would have spruced it up, stuck up for me, told everyone what I meant to say immediately after quoting what I actually said, beat up on poor little Althouse for no apparent reason, mention he knew something about Colbert to show he was hip, then throw in eight links to show everybody he did his research.

    Uh, maybe not.

  • Bear Down Viking Moose||

    Chicago -

    did you hear some social conservatives try to explain Alan Keyes away, too?

    He certainly didn't wow us with his T-formation.

    Unlike these guys (youtube)

    Of course the live, in person version is even better

    GO BEARS!

  • ||

    hey i liked that eastwood movie.

  • frog||

    "It is considered offensive to call an African-American man "articulate.""

    Except, of course, when it's not, which is most of the time. For chrissakes, blurbs on his own book call him articulate.

    Please, stop the stupid, before it's too late

  • ||

    highnumber, thanks for that link.

  • ||

    I don't know about y'all but is it impossible for anyone to discuss other people without even considering their race? If Biden meant that Obama is articulate compared to other black people then that surely is condescending.

    On the other hand I think the point our man Weigel, in his colorblindness, is making is that Obama is articulate compared to anyone. Especially our current president. I'm tempted to vote for him just so I don't have to wince every time our president opens his mouth.

  • ||

    did you hear some social conservatives try to explain Alan Keyes away, too?

    I never understood the Alan Keyes nomination.
    I thought Jack Ryan might have given Obama a run for his money if -- until the sex clubs scandal came to light. Then I thought it would be Oberweiss who got the nod. I never expected Keyes to win it.

    I remember I used to catch Keyes' cable show now and then (on MSNBC I think) and I used to wonder if he was had a screw loose or something -- but he was well spoken!!

    Of course the live, in person version is even better

    I prefered the live version! You know -- I her this song twice a day around chicago (usually on the morning radio shows) and I've been hearing the superbowl shuffle a lot too...and yet I never get sick of hearing it!!

    Go Bears!!!

  • ||

    Ryan blew it when he lost the Seven of Nine vote :)

    I'm going for the Colts, out of Buccaneer loyalty to Dungy.

  • ||

    TomTom,

    I will be wincing every time our president opens his mouth to advocate socialized medicine.

  • VM||

    Chicago -

    highnumber and I have the same experience, I'd bet - we're both in Chicago, as well! It's great hearing Mike North (morning sports radio personality) gleefully talking! (Mr. Steven Crane, too, but he's not around, apparently)

    Haven't heard the super bowl shuffle but for a few times.

    And do you like how the top of the hancock is in blue and orange? (Mrs. Moose and I toast it and its glory!)

    Go Bears!

  • ||

    There's an extensive discussion of this over at TalkingPointsMemo. Josh Marshall, who doesn't appear to be any particular friend of Biden, admits that the transcript is misleading. It implies that (if you leave out the adjective "black" for a moment) that Obama is the first mainstream candidate who is articulate, etc. In the audio, however, there is a distinct pause between "candidate" and "who."

    Biden said, essentially, that Obama is the first black mainstream candidate and then went on to describe his qualities as a candidate. Without the comma it reads as though Biden is praising Obama for being the first black man he ever met that doesn't speak Ebonics and stare longingly at your daughter.

    So he got screwed by the transcriptionist, which pretty much sums up his presidential fortunes. Biden is a wretched, opportunistic senator who runs and hides from taking a strong stand on any issue that matters. God only knows what he actually intends to do as president but we can assume it will be some sort of mush intended to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

  • ||

    Tomtom:

    Read the quote again. Especially the part that goes "the first mainstream African-American who . . ."

  • ||

    frog,

    When a white guy is explaining why a black guy is just great, but unfortunately not really up to the job, that's one of those times when it's wise to avoid complimenting him on the fact that he speaks English well.

  • ||

    Haven't heard the super bowl shuffle but for a few times.

    VM,

    My wife listens to the "Eric And Kathy" radio show on 101.9 in the mornings and has forbidden me from changing the station on our alarm clock...they play it at least once a day. This morning they played a "Superfans shuffle" which was a 4 minute parody of the the shuffle with "Da Superfans" singing it with their own lyrics. It was priceless. Also the other day we went to a Buffalo Wildwings in Woodridge with some friends and they must have had an iPod on repeat because they played the shuffle 4 times during a 1.5 hour dinner. (ok, Ill admit, I thought that was a bit excessive)

    And do you like how the top of the hancock is in blue and orange? (Mrs. Moose and I toast it and its glory!)

    I LOVE IT!!
    Thankfully Mrs. ChicagoTom is almost as big a fan , and is just as excited about the Bears as I am -- despite the fact that she grew up on the East coast. She called me the first day she saw the Orange and Blue at the top of the 'cock from work all giddy!!

    Bears fever -- It's EVERYWHERE!!!

    GO BEARS!

  • ||

    Given that Obama is half white, and was in fact raised by his white mother, I believe he should be referred to as the "white candidate" or the "European-American" candidate. And his articulacy should be a matter of pride for white people everywhere.

  • VM||

    "My wife listens to the "Eric And Kathy" radio show on 101.9 in the mornings and has forbidden me from changing the station on our alarm clock"

    ouch. :)

    Chicago reference to a morning show:
    http://www.wtmx.com/ek.php


    GO BEARS!

  • ||

    Speaking (tangentially) about Obama and how black or white is I thought I would share this with you guys and gals...

    I thought it was rather funny..


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6uwOoDrkQs

  • ||

    I don't get it either. What the fuck does articulate have anything to do with race? There is a spectrum of articulateness. Any particular person will rest somewhere on that spectrum. The degree to which someone is articulate is likely more a function of education and upbringing rather than the quantum of melanin that they possess.
    The same analysis would apply to intelligence and looks (well, going to harvard might not make you pretty but it is melanin independent).
    Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are ugly, useless piece-of-shit, inarticulate race whores who make their respective livings on stoking the racial divide. Compared to those two useless fucks, Mr. Obama is a nice shot of fresh air. (Disclaimer, I honestly don't know if there is a racial connotation regarding "shot of fresh air.")
    I don't have white guilt and don't engage in racism and I don't see anything wrong. For those who read race into everything from a person's preference for eating a particular kind of dead bird to musical preferences, to how they wipe thier ass after they take a shit, please shut the fuck up.

  • ||

    I don't get it either. What the fuck does articulate have anything to do with race? There is a spectrum of articulateness. Any particular person will rest somewhere on that spectrum. The degree to which someone is articulate is likely more a function of education and upbringing rather than the quantum of melanin that they possess.

    Why is it that he didn't feel the need to point out how articulate John Edwards or Hillary Clinton is?
    Is it possibly because, to some people, they are expected to be articulate whereas an African American who is articulate seems more like the exception rather than the rule?

    Most people probably wouldn't consider Obama head and shoulders above the rest of the field as far as ability to speak clearly -- so it is understandable that it might be considered offensive when it's pointed out how well he speaks -- as if that in and of itself is some kind of stunning accomplishment.

  • ||

    Chicago Brethren,

    Riding down lower Wacker over the weekend, I noticed that the bridges are lit up blue & orange, too.

    Go Bears!

    [We were on our way to see "Don't Shed A Tear - The Billie Holiday Story" at the Black Ensemble Theater in Uptown over the weekend. It's been extended to Feb 11. Go see it. Great show, great band, great cast - all very well-spoken. ;-)]

    GO BEARS!

  • ||

    Troy,

    It's an old connection. "Articulate" was a compliment often applied to black political activists by their white opponents when seeking to appear fair and non-racist. Instead of admitting that, for example, Martin Luther King's speeches were powerful because of the strength of his arguments, they'd talk about how well-spoken he was.

    It's also a condescending, backhanded compliment. Picture a guy coming in for an interview with an investment bank. He's got an MBA, experience, yadda yadda. For some reason, you always see white people jumping right to talking about how "articulate" he is.

    This history is there, whether it hurts your feelings to admit it or not.

    So now you know.

  • ||

    While I understand how "bright and articulate" can sound condescending, using that phrase can not always be insulting. Obama is both bright and articulate, and saying as much doesn't have to imply that it's somehow extraordinary for a black man to be intelligent and well-spoken.

  • ||

    Why is it that he didn't feel the need to point out how articulate John Edwards or Hillary Clinton is?
    Perhaps because they're not? In the absence of their handlers, anyway.

  • ||

    Biden is saying that Sen. Obama is the first black candidate with no baggage and a legit shot at the presidency.

    Not only does Wiegel hate the shit out of Bush like a good little partisan Democrat, but he also knows how to spin when damage control is warranted. Wiegel is multi-talented indeed!

    I don't get it either. What the fuck does articulate have anything to do with race?

    "Articulate" is the patronizing compliment that white "progressives" pay to blacks who don't sound "ghetto" when they speak. The reason it is "racist" (culturalist, actually, as if "progressives" could understand the difference) is because of what is left unsaid:

    "Oh wow, he's so articulate, which, for a black man, is amazing."

  • VM||

    WKQX just had a description of Obama: he's the black Richie Cunningham...
    (that's the "alternative" Chicago station, btw)

  • ||

    Joe:

    Thanks for the kind response, but I respectfully disagree.

    I could see how if Biden had said, "for a black guy, he is articulate, etc.", but he didn't. What I got out of it was that Biden was comparing Obama to Obama's predecessors. If my interpretation is correct, I think he is right. I think that Jackson, Keyes, and Sharpton are living caricatures of what some people think black people are supposed to be and these caricatures are, sometimes, just as demeaning, racist, obfuscating as anything that anything non-black racist have done in the past.
    I am unwilling to judge Biden regarding his actions today based of what racist did in the past.

  • ||

    Racism is like ethics. You should avoid the appearance of impropriety.



    Go Bears!

  • ||

    I could see how if Biden had said, "for a black guy, he is articulate, etc."

    Not everything has to be explicitly stated. The "for a black man" part is what seems to be implied in his sentence. Maybe he was or maybe he wasn't implying it....but to think he was would not be an unfair reading of his statement.

    Also, Alan Keyes and Jesse Jackson are many things...but inarticulate is not one of them.

    Go Bears!

  • ||

    Troy,

    There's some history there. The pseudo-compliment "articulate" has been used so often, and for so long, in this context that the "...for a black man" part is always kinda sorta implied.

    Even people like Loundry recognize this, although most aren't so delusionaly partisan as to pretend that it's a phenomenon of a particular poltical orientation.

    The other part of the problem is that Jesse Jackson was not, in 1984 or 1988, anything other than articulare, mainstream (just look at his vote totals - higher than Lieberman's or Gephardt's in 2004), clean and bright. The fact that he'd lump what were two very plausible, if ultimately unsuccessful, campaigns in with Sharpton, Keyes, and Moseley-
    Braun looks a lot like stereotyping.

    I don't think this demonstrates that Biden is a racist, but he sure does seem to have a tin ear about race.

  • ||

    Is Obama "black"? If he is genetically mixed, and culturally "white", what sense does it make to tag him as black (or as Biden put it, African-American)?

  • ||

    Biden is articulate, but only because he's using someone else's sentences.

  • ||

    He self-identifies as black. People he meets identify him as black.

    Given that there aren't really objective criteria for whether someone belongs to a socially-constructed group, their social identity would seem to be the relevant arbiter.

  • ||

    Biden is articulate, but only because he's using other people's words.

    ;-)

  • ||

    I almost busted you, joe, but then I realized that I'm dense.

  • ||

    It's hard to tell if Jesse Jackson is articulate because his diction is about on par with Bill Dauterive.

  • ||

    So, basically, it is a no-win situation for any white person to give any person with melanin a compliment. After all, the implicit can be applied (or implied?) to any thing and doesn't require even a fucking iota of epistemic ratification.
    He is smart. He is educated. He has nice shoes. All will be tortured into he is smart, for a black guy; he is educated, for a hispanic guy;, he has nice shoes, for a white guy.
    So how does one compliment a melanin possessing person with out having to worry about some guilty white intellectual midget impugning the unspoken implication? Do you have to have like a big banner or something? A disclaimer? Have friends who happen to be black?
    And if you think keyes and jackson are articulate, and speak of anything substantive other than white people suck, I suggest you turn off the television and read more books.

  • ||

    "Given that there aren't really objective criteria for whether someone belongs to a socially-constructed group, their social identity would seem to be the relevant arbiter."

    But given that we're talking about a "socially-constructed" concept, whatever the fuck you want to call him would seem to be the relevant arbiter.

    Suppose he self-identified as libertarian. In spite of a handful of positions that could be reasonably viewed as libertarian, he is your run-of-the-mill liberal. Although there's obviously no cut and dried rule, I think most people would agree that to be libertarian you have to be less than 50% statist. His votes have yet to show this.

    On the same note, because of his mother, I don't want to call him solely "black," even if he identifies as such. To be black you have to be less than 50% non-black.

    Just because a spade says it's a club doesn't mean you should call it one.

  • ||

    What if Ditka had run against Obama?

    Ditka 164%, Obama -37%

  • ||

    Sorry about the redundant "unspoken implication." Please admonish accordingly.

  • ||

    "So, basically, it is a no-win situation for any white person to give any person with melanin a compliment."

    No, Troy, there are just a certain number of pitfalls that people with even the slightest experience in a multi-racial society know to avoid.

    "He is smart. He is educated. He has nice shoes. All will be tortured into he is smart, for a black guy; he is educated, for a hispanic guy;, he has nice shoes, for a white guy." None of those have even the slightest history to back them up.

    We're not making this up; there actually is a history of "articulate" being used in a "soft bigotry of low expectations" sort of way in regards to black people. Those other examples you gave - you just made those up. Rest assured, no Hispanic men are going to get riled up if you compliment their shoes.

    ...unless you add, "and they aren't pointy at all" afterwards.

  • ||

    andy,

    "But given that we're talking about a "socially-constructed" concept, whatever the fuck you want to call him would seem to be the relevant arbiter."

    No, "socially constructed" does not mean "determined through individual behavior."

    The idea that American currency has economic value is socially constructed. That doesn't make it any less real.

    BTW, once upon a time, the social construction of race actually was determined by looking at their % of black ancestry. That isn't the case anymore.

  • ||

    Joe:

    I don't doubt the history. And I don't doubt your sagacity either.
    But you fail to answer the question. How can I ever compliment someone without someone questioning my motive based soley on what other white people have done in the past? Please tell me how you are going to avoid the fallacy of unfalsifiability?

  • ||

    I'm not a fan of Biden, but this is a good illustration of the triviality of a lot of politics or media-coverage of politics. So Biden may or may not have been offensive in his comments. He may or may not have made a racist remark depending on how you interpret him. Jesus Fucking Christ. (I hope that last comment is offensive, though I'm sure it has no chance of being interpreted as racist unless you're extremely creative.)

    Even Bush's obviously idiotic comments like "I am the Decider" I wouldn't mind so much if he didn't behave so idiotically in things like, ummmm, foreign policy.

    But yea, the important thing is that we elect someone who never says anything even remotely offensive. Because God forbid, the last thing we want is a President who might hurt our feelings.

  • ||

    Troy,

    There really are only a limited number of pitfalls to stay away from. Just be aware of the history; that's all I can say.

  • ||

    I don't see what's so offencive about it, but I'm a white dude. I understand the arguements why it might be considered racist, but I didn't read that much into it.

    I mainly think that people are overly sensitive and egotistical so that they think everyone is always talking about them.

  • ||

    joe,

    "BTW, once upon a time, the social construction of race actually was determined by looking at their % of black ancestry"

    No... in the past you were viewed as black if you had any traceable quantity of black blood (or among the more liberal racists, more than 1/8). Today you are viewed as black... if you have any traceable quantity of black blood. The difference is that now it can be an asset to be "black," or at least to say you are, whereas in the past it was almost exclusively a liability.

    That's what bugs me, even though the denial of one's whiteness went from something forced on people (resulting in people trying to "pass" for white) to something chosen by people, it's still denying one's whiteness.

    On a similar note, my mom has told me about her grandmother who hid the fact that she was half-American-Indian. I don't know what tribe because back then it was a liability to not be totally white and she hid her heritage from even her own granddaughter. I think that's a great shame because I feel that one should not be ashamed of who one is; and that's just what people like Obama are doing- not being real to [all of] their heritage.

  • ||

    EXCUSE ME?!?

    Did you actually call TNR liberal? The New Republic liberal? Not likely. Democrate Party Hacks maybe.

    Calling TNR liberal, is like calling Stalin Conervative.

  • ||

    Oh and

    "Liberals are giddy about the prospect of Obama kicking the last generation of black leadership to the curb. But they get very angry at people who say this."

    Since you say liberals (plural) could you provide a list? I haven't seen this. Or is this like "all conservatives hate black people"? Just an assumed fact?

    Don't worry, I won't sweat your lack or reality based reasoning when you can't point out any of these "liberals".

    (TNR=liberals...gawdamn I am still laughing at that one...and Buckley is a libertarian, and Goldwater was a facist...this is fun...and you, Mr. W, must be a wobbly, well using your kind of logic)

  • ||

    Obama's clean? He's an Illinois Democrat. So's Ms. Rodham, when you stop and think of it. Is it possible to be a Chicagoland Donkey and not have dirty hooves? In Barack's case, it's his connections to indicted fixer Antoin "Tony" Rezko that cast doubts on his purity. That sweetheart land deal seems so 1992, doesn't it?

    Regarding The Rev. Mr. Jackson, his self-enrichment while leading Rainbow/PUSH is legendary. And he is indeed "articulate", but he has that irritating-to-us-honkies trick of speaking "blacker" in front of exclusively African-American crowds. I believe the socialistologists and linguists call this "code-shifting." White guys try it too, when they try to play up an ethnic, rural or regional connection with a crowd. It's not any more appealing when we do it, and, Ghu-help-us, downright cringe-inducing when it involves "hip" slang, or trying to establish some credibility with African-Americans.

    Kevin

  • ||

    andy,

    I feel for your loss of heritage, because I am in the same (but rather different, due to adoption) circumstance. I have figured that I am somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 Native American. I don't plan on exploiting that fact, but until I'm able to put in the effort to compile my own ridiculously convoluted family tree, I'm left in the dark as to what exactly my true heritage is.

    Best I can tell, I'm 1/4 Native American, 1/2 German, and 1/4 some type of mutt.

  • ||

    Ann Althouse: Smarter than Ann Coulter--but not by much

  • edna||

    "articulate" means that he's not complicit in killings (like sharpton), embezzlement and extortion (sharpton and jackson), or total lunacy (like keyes), his other so-called black predecessors for presidential candidacy.

    it might also be a sly crack at shirley chisolm's unfortunate speech impediment.

  • non-Ann||

    Ann Althouse: Smarter than Ann Coulter


    Not even close You don't have to agree with anything she says to realize Coulter is brilliant
    She can adlib her shtick at top speed
    "She is quite articulate for a White girl"

    And at least Coulter makes her $$$ in the private sector-not leaching off the public teat
    to produce MORE lawyers

  • ||

    andy,

    "Today you are viewed as black... if you have any traceable quantity of black blood." I don't think that's true. A white-looking guy who self-identifies as part of white family, but how had a black grandfather, would universally be considered a white guy with a black grandfather. At least where I'm from (Massachusetts).

  • Georege A Custer||

    jf,

    Exploit what? Damn near everybody thinks they have a Redman in the woodpile-unless you are an enrolled member of a Federally recognised tribe you can't be anything but a minstrel-show wannabe. Blood ain't got nothing to do with it.
    Most of your Mexicans have more "Native-American" blood than your average Casino stakeholder.
    Oh Yeah they aren't looking to share-the sovereign tribes are purging their rolls to increase the casino take for the real indians.

  • ||

    If the Libertarian party could come up with a clean (in the sense of non-lunatic), articulate, black, white or purple candidate, no one outside lunatic circles would notice, and the lunatics would be furious.

  • ||

    If you don't know the problem with the word 'articulate', then you're either sheltered or not American or maybe some sort of statistical anomaly.

    I mean, 'articulate' is right up there with 'uppity'. It's a racially-charged word. Maybe 50 years from now, it won't be.

  • ||

    No Dave, I just haven't known a lot of black people.

    But I'm not racist because I've got a couple black friends. ;)

  • ||

    The thing that is racist-sounding about this is not that he called Obama "articulate and bright and clean" it's that he called Obama the "first mainstream African-American who is articulate ... [etc.]." It's not insulting to Obama, it's insulting to all other African-American leaders up to this point in history, implying that they were lacking in one or more of these attributes. He's saying that it is extraordinary that Obama has these qualities because, you know, usually those African-American chaps are all so inarticulate or dim or unclean.

    It's insulting the same way saying "Joe Biden is the first mainstream European-American who is articulate and bright and clean" would be insulting to all other European-American leaders in the past (even moreso in Biden's case, since he is apparently lacking in at least the first of these attributes).

  • Michael Hampton||

    "Articulate," "bright" and "clean" were words used to describe more valuable specimens of slaves in the South. The statement is perhaps the most offensive thing anybody could possibly say, solely on that point. But it might get him some votes in the South, for exactly that reason.

  • ||

    "Most of your Mexicans have more "Native-American" blood than your average Casino stakeholder.
    Oh Yeah they aren't looking to share-the sovereign tribes are purging their rolls to increase the casino take for the real indians."

    No, dipshit, most of your Mexicans have "Native-Mexican" blood and their ancestors had nothing to do with the US tribes that now have the casinos. Nice try though.

  • edna||

    it's that he called Obama the "first mainstream African-American who is articulate ... [etc.]." It's not insulting to Obama, it's insulting to all other African-American leaders

    did you actually watch the interview or read the transcript? he was talking about presidential candidates, not so-called "leaders." and this is a perfectly accurate statement. compared with the assorted fruits and nuts with recent african ancestry of the right pigmentation (gotta exclude those boers and copts from calling themselves african-american, eh?) who have actually declared candidacy, obama is the first one who could express coherent thoughts and can't credibly be charged with criminal activity.

    god, that whole notion of racial "leaders" is nauseating.

  • George Custer||

    andy,

    Mexico isn't part of North America?
    Nice geography education you've got there.

  • ||

    On the other hand I think the point our man Weigel, in his colorblindness, is making is that Obama is articulate compared to anyone. Especially our current president. I'm tempted to vote for him just so I don't have to wince every time our president opens his mouth.

    If all a black guy has to do to be called "articulate" is speak English better than Dubya, I'd say we're practicing the soft bigotry of lowered expectations.

  • ||

    BTW, I think we should cut Biden some slack. I think he was just repeating something he heard Neil Kinnock say in one of his campaign speeches.

  • ||

    In judging any spoken statement for veiled racism, insert the word white for black or Caucasian-American for African-American and reread.

    e.g., Smith and Dungy are the first AA NFL head coaches to coach a Super Bowl. Statement of fact and part of the intent of the statment, no hidden meaning implied or reasonably inferred.

    In Biden's comment the superlative was unnecessary and therefore, suspect. And for a politician, exceedingly stupid to say in general.

  • ||

    "It is considered offensive to call an African-American man "articulate."

    Well, at least I don't do it very often.

  • ||

    some racist,

    If I were one of those people who like to proclaim a "winner" of the thread, you'd get the medal. Great line.

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