During an appearance on the popular radio show The Breakfast Club last week, presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke to host Charlamagne tha God about the 2020 election. Towards the end of the conversation, Biden stated that anyone unable to decide between himself and Donald Trump “ain’t Black.”
Though the insensitive remark understandably provoked backlash it was clearly not coming from a place of genuine bigotry but rather an ill-advised, overly familiar joke.
Republicans rushed to denounce the incident, demonstrating that once again the GOP only cares to talk about racism when it can be used as a bad faith bludgeon against a political enemy. With Trump, the most racist public figure in recent history leading the party, the GOP simply doesn’t have a leg to stand on here.
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.@JoeBiden: "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black." @cthagod: "It don't have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact — I want something for my community." @breakfastclubam pic.twitter.com/endvWnOIV2
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) May 22, 2020
Biden quickly issued a public apology for his remarks but Republicans have refused to abandon the topic, a fact which makes sense given Trump’s disastrous presidency and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The GOP can’t run on the issues, can’t really hold up any accomplishments from the past four years, so they’re forced to distract and hurl smears.
JUST IN: In a call with Black business leaders, @JoeBiden apologizes for his AM comments to @cthagod: "
“I should not have been so cavalier. I've never, never, ever taken the African American community for granted." (more)
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) May 22, 2020
Scott Baio, a washed-up actor, alleged sexual predator, and rabid Trump supporter tweeted about the Biden interview. He tagged popular comedian Wanda Sykes and asked her why it’s “okay” for Biden to say “something clearly racist” while Roseanne Barr was fired from her show—which Sykes wrote for—over a “mistake.”
The so-called mistake in question was Barr’s use of incredibly racist language to compare Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett, an African-American woman, to a mix between the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes. In short, Barr’s comments were a near nuclear form of racism whereas Biden’s comments were just somewhat offensive.
“Is it because you’re a full of shit, hack liberal?” Baio concluded his tweeet, with all the class and tact we’ve come to expect from the embittered man.
There is a particularly pernicious hypocrisy at play on Baio’s part since he was one of the many conservatives to peddle the racist “secret Muslim” conspiracy theory about President Obama. The man shouldn’t speak on racism unless he’s apologizing for his own.
Hey @iamwandasykes why is it okay for @JoeBiden to say something clearly racist but @therealroseanne gets kicked off of her own show that YOU are a writer on, for making a mistake? Is it because you're a full of shit, hack liberal?
— Scott Baio (@ScottBaio) May 23, 2020
Baio was responding to a tweet in which Sykes defended Biden without offering blanket justification for his comments. It was a reasonable, civil message.
Biden feels at home speaking to the Black community. He made a joke. Comedy ain’t easy, but he didn’t say 2 go shoot Clorox in our tits. Now, I wouldn’t make a blanket statement to say that voting for Trump means you’re not Black. I would say that it means you’re not smart.
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) May 22, 2020
Baio sent his tweet on May 22 but since he’s hardly relevant in the entertainment industry and at best a C-list celebrity, Sykes doesn’t appear to have noticed his message till yesterday. She responded with her trademark wit, making quick work of Baio.
“Oh! Hey Chachi. Apologies, I didn’t see you,” she started off, referring to Baio’s character on Happy Day while simultaneously taking a shot at his irrelevance. She then quickly explained that Biden didn’t call a Black woman an “ape” like Barr did.
“Well, let me get back to work… I hope you enjoy whatever it is that you do,” she wrote, once again turning the screw over the fact that Baio’s career sputtered out decades ago.
It was a brutal own but exactly what Baio deserves for his bad faith, racist-defending tweet. Maybe next time he’ll think twice before tangling with someone who so clearly outclasses him intellectually and comedically.
Oh! Hey Chachi. Apologies, I didn’t see you. I’ll keep it short. Joe Biden didn’t say, “Then you ain’t an ape.”
Well, let me get back to work…I hope you enjoy whatever it is that you do. https://t.co/vqHv7fmqgh
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) May 27, 2020