Politics, Moderate

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Politics

Can I call ya' <i>son</i>?

Kathleen Parker on

WASHINGTON -- The problem with a lifetime in public service is a lifetime in public service.

Enter Joe Biden, whose list of former offices and distinctions exceeds my word limit, and the recent scandal of his nurturing of working relationships with segregationists Sens. James O. Eastland and Herman Talmadge back in the 1970s.

Unsolicited, Biden proffered this history at a fundraiser last Tuesday to illustrate his record of forging consensus even with those with whom he disagrees, as he presumably would as president of the United States.

"I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland," Biden said. "He never called me 'boy,' he always called me 'son.'"

Hoo boy, son.

If one wishes to expand comity, one probably shouldn't attach oneself to a long-dead, die-hard racist who called African Americans "an inferior race." Surely Biden has worked with others since the '70s who were less despicable?

 

And, what's with bringing up "boy"?

The former vice president is notorious for saying strange things that range from inappropriate to daft to comedic to offensive. In 2007, Biden notoriously referred to Barack Obama as "the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean." He's still in politics because?

A year earlier, Biden had made another cringey remark during a speech in Columbia, South Carolina. In a strained attempt to establish commonality, he remarked that Delaware had also been a "slave state."

I can't speak for Delaware, but as a South Carolinian, I can confidently assert that slavery was not our proudest moment. Nor was Jim Crow and its horrific terrorist manifestations. Everyone, including Biden, knows that when a racist white person referred to an adult, black male by calling him "boy," it was intended to diminish and intimidate. So what made Biden think it was a good idea to invoke that?

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