by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“You could always tell where the best basketball in the state is or the best basketball in the city is” is a yet another classic, cringe-inducing use of stereotypes by Biden. It’s not the most consequential thing that Biden did yesterday, but it fits in with his long history of using racial and ethnic stereotypes that make him look like an ass. …
… (Biden’s frequent use of racial stereotypes might be a little less irritating if he weren’t always telling us how he stood up to racism in his life, and about how racist all of his critics and opponents are.)
There are a lot of reasons we shouldn’t embrace cancel culture. One big reason is that it often elevates an off-the-cuff comment into a litmus test of a person’s character and decency; we would all hate to be judged by the dumbest or worst thing we’ve ever said or done. Another reason is that once a disputed comment becomes a major controversy, it becomes a binary choice where the person must be fired or canceled or not. There’s very little middle ground, such as, “You shouldn’t be fired from your job, but that was a dumb or offensive thing to say, and you shouldn’t have said it. You should apologize and try to do better in the future.”
But another big reason is that the amount of offense that is taken is often directly inverse to how important you are to the Democratic Party at that moment.
If a little-known Republican state legislator had characterized a heavily African-American neighborhood as “where the best basketball in the state is,” you probably would have heard it denounced as yet another example of the callous racial animosity coursing through the veins of the modern Republican Party. But Biden said it, and many people have gotten used to him using “poor” and “black” as synonyms.