These are the kinds of questions Joe Biden isn’t going to be getting from white liberals.
But a top black scholar’s take on Biden’s speech at Tuesday’s funeral for George Floyd should have the presumptive Democratic candidate thinking long and hard about his pandering approach to race relations.
Six decades of what Democrats consider helping American blacks have left the population worse off than ever, author and commentator Shelby Steele told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum.
And the Biden brand of white liberalism isn’t going to do any more good than it has in the past, Steele said.
For Democrats, it’s about political power.
“We live in, for a lack of a better term, a white guilt world,” Steele said at the beginning of the interview on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
“What is Mr. Biden doing? Does he really deeply care about black America and the problems that we have? Or is he using our pain as a kind of advertisement of his own moral vanity?”
Check it out here. The interview is almost 10 minutes long, but it’s well worth the time:
Steele answered his own questions. In his telling, Biden’s appearance comes off as a political stunt, with an eye toward the November election.
“He’s looking for the moral vanity that he thinks will translate into votes and get him elected and so forth,” he said.
“Does he know anything at all, really, about the difficulties that black Americans face now? Many of which have nothing in the world to do with racism.”
Steele, the son of a black father and white mother born in 1946, has spent a career studying and writing about race relations in the United States. In 1990, a collection of his essays about race, “The Content of Our Character” won the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction.
Now a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Steele described himself to MacCallum as the product of the days of segregation in Chicago.
That’s an experience most people would agree gives him a little more understanding about black American life – past and present — than Biden might have picked in his 36 years living the pampered life of a United States senator before graduating to the even more pampered life of a vice president.
“I know what segregation is like,” Steele told MacCallum with powerful understatement about the 4:25 mark on the video.
“I know what racism is like. I know it intimately. It’s over with.”
From Biden’s remarks, as reported by CNN, it’s clear he’s trying to portray racism as the single largest problem facing blacks.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got to deal with the denial of the promise of this nation to so many people for so long,” Biden said in a speech delivered by video, CNN reported. “It’s about who we are, what we believe, and maybe most importantly, who we want to be.”
Biden also cited Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, and invited the nation to judge itself in racial terms.
“Looking through your eyes, we should also be asking ourselves why the answer is so often too cruel and painful,” he said. “Why, in this nation, do too many black Americans wake up knowing that they could lose their life in the course of just living their life? Why does justice not roll like a river or righteousness like a mighty stream? Why?
“Ladies and gentlemen, we can’t turn away. We must not turn away. We cannot leave this moment thinking, we can once again turn away from racism.”
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So much emotion, so much Irish oratory. Or so much malarkey.
Steele has a different take entirely.
The government’s focus on racism has bred a mentality that has benefited Democratic politicians, but hasn’t benefited black Americans at all, he told MacCallum.
“Whites win their innocence, and their power, by deferring to some difficulty that minorities have,” he said, about the 7-minute mark. “Well, we’ve had 60 years of deference — the Great Society programs, War on Poverty, affirmative action, school busing, public housing — we’ve had all of that. We’re further behind now than we were back then.
The current racial confrontations, the focus of groups like Black Lives Matter almost exclusively on black “victimization” is “just painful to see,” he told MacCallum.
“Our central problem is the breakdown of the family,” he said about the 8:30 mark of the video, as the interview drew to a close. “Seventy-five percent of all black children are born out of wedlock. They don’t have a father. There are very few men around in the community.
“When I was growing up, men were everywhere. Everybody had a dad. A good one or a bad one, but they had one.
“They performed a great service … Irreplaceable. There’s no social program, government intervention, that’s going to take the place of that.
“I’d much rather see us talk about that than, again, about the police.”
It’s a topic some Democrats have been brave enough to broach in the past – in 2008 a presidential contender named Barack Obama made headlines with a Father’s Day speech saying too many black men had “abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men,” as The Associated Press reported at the time.
It’s not a topic Americans can expect to hear Joe Biden discuss any time soon – if ever. (He’s made enough trouble for himself with black media.)
The Democratic racial play is in motion. Desperate to stop possible inroads by President Donald Trump among black voters, the party’s only chance it to make “racism” one of the driving issues of the 2020 election.
But millions and millions of Americans know better, including black Trump supporters.
If Biden can’t answer Steele’s questions about motivation and moral vanity — and he can’t — Americans, black and white, will be able to guess the answer, if they haven’t already.
And if that happens, Trump’s re-election will be great news for all Americans – very much including the blacks Democrats claim to care about so much.
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