"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Joe Biden And The Griner Affair–Racial Ambulance-Chasing On Pennsylvania Avenue

For years, but especially since he was elected President, Joe Biden wished he could channel Bill Clinton, get down with the black community and be one of them. In fact he had always wanted to be blacker than Clinton, a tall order, for the former President had done everything except blacken his skin and curl his hair to be come the first black president.   He loved fried chicken, collard greens, and the blues.  He loved hanging out with black men on the stoop, sharing stories about poontang and moonshine.  He liked the Reverend Al Sharpton, and the aging coterie of Martin Luther King.  

He said that he felt for the plight of black people – it was a personal, emotional thing with him, not just a political one.  Even more than LBJ who did more for the black community than any president since Lincoln, Bill Clinton’s empathy was heartfelt.  He was moved to tears over a poor black child, fist-clenching angry over reports of lingering Jim Crow and continuing denial of black rights.

Image result for images bill clinton surrounded by black people

Black people loved him, apparently.  They loved his warmth and good-natured camaraderie, and felt that his friendship was above and beyond ‘the black vote’.  He was a friend to the black man, and they would never forget it at the polls. The fact that he drew the line at black women – his preferences were uniquely white – gave some blacks pause.  

If he were really one of them, he would be courting their women.  Ordinarily black men were angered at white sexual trolling – for that's what it was, sexual adventurism which never amounted to anything; and worse, white men never settled for anything less than the high-toned, sassy, and best black women, emptying the gene pool of the best.  

Yet, they forgave Clinton for his white women.  He meant well, but how could an Arkansas cracker ever get above high-gloss nail polish, tight skirts, and cheap beauty parlor hair?  He was as black as a white man could get, but still as white as an Easter lily.

You could see the affection between Clinton and black people.  They hugged each other with real affection and truly enjoyed each other’s company.  Of course Clinton was not only Southern but a real, God-fearing, backcountry hillbilly Southern while Biden was as white as could be, Delaware born and bred.  Delaware was a border state during the Civil War, tolerating slavery but not joining the Confederacy; and Biden thought that that heritage if not his own lineage gave him some black creds. 

He knew some black folk whose ancestors had been slaves in Delaware, but he never got beyond academics – border politics, Jim Crow, Reconstruction theory, and Congressional legislation.  He wanted to sit, drink malt liquor, and smoke Kools with his constituents on the East side, talk black talk, street talk, real talk; but he never could manage, and his barmy, goofy hitched smile never worked there.  He would always be whitey in a serge suit, coming downtown for votes.

Over the past decade or so, Biden had become convinced by his progressive supporters that whiteness was a befouling curse, and that white superiority was a thing of the past.  There was no point in looking back, only forward to The Age of the Black Man.  The black man was superior to whites in all ways.  His African tribal ancestry gave him a natural sensitivity to intimacy, family, and the natural world, expressed in dance and music.  The great kingdoms of Gao, Songhai, and Mali had given him cultural sophistication and social intelligence.  Slavery had given him fortitude and forbearance, and Jim Crow had riled his spirit and gave him courage. 

Image result for images easter lily

Joe Biden in his private moments wanted to be even more black than Bill Clinton, but he was stuck with Brittney Griner, Al Sharpton, and the likes of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the Squad, and their Congressional claques.

Sensing the President’s new, increased sensitivity to the black experience, his aides suggested that he go deep into the heart of the DC inner city to the ghetto of all ghettoes, the only completely black place in the capital where the expression of blackness was at its most visible, salient, and real.

As his limousine wound its way through Anacostia, past shambled row houses, trash, and burned out, abandoned vehicles, he said to his wife, “I didn’t know it would be like this”.  Nothing in his sheltered, insular, white life had prepared him for such a sight.  Ordinarily, he would have stepped out in a crowd to get votes, but this was different.  Even with the extra security added to be on the safe side, he would never leave the car.

When he thought about it, Clinton never came here to Anacostia.  His black experience had been filtered through the black bourgeoisie and Southern rural African Americans – a more deferential, complaisant black man, safer, but still with all the earmarks of Africa. 

So he contented himself with addressing black congregations, meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, having tea with flower-hatted elderly black matrons, and inviting sports champions (usually all black) to the White House.  “Still not black enough”, he said to himself, looking for a way to appeal, to belong.

Yet when he gave it a try and attempted to adjust his longstanding, instinctive white prose and make it at least poetic and symbolic, he failed miserably.  He stumbled, smiled in the wrong places, misread the teleprompter, and sounded like a fool.

He was no better at the Divine Light of the Cross storefront church in Brentwood.  The singing, chanting, dancing, and speaking in tongues were simply not for him, too foreign, too removed from the simple Catholic parish of his childhood.

“It’s going slowly”, he said to Jill. “Too many bumps in the road”.

He never gave up, however, stuck to his guns, but rode only on smooth roads.  He got Brittney Griner out of a Russian prison, talked racial justice and the evils of systemic racism and white supremacy, and created a photo op with a leader of Black Lives Matter before she was arrested for fraud. Griner was worth a hundred gun runners, a thousand Viktor Bouts regardless of the savagery of the wars they supplied.  Biden had paused for a moment when he saw photos of the mutilated bodies in Sierra Leone and Liberia, Bout’s victims, but blackness carried the day, and Griner was swapped.

Who is Viktor Bout? Russian arms dealer known as the "Merchant of Death"  swapped for Brittney Griner - CBS News

He got the black vote in the last election, but then again he always did.  When Brittney Griner returned home, she left all the talking to her lawyer wife who appeared with Biden on the dais with the Vice President.  The image of two successful black women at his side was priceless, votes in the making, adding to the President’s creds.  Yet he had no idea who they were.  They were only two black women, one a pushy Rasputin and the other the lesbian wife of a basketball player.  He felt nothing more, no particular sympathy for Griner and her mate, nothing but suspicion for his Second-in-Command.  Blackness was for black people, he concluded, better stay out of it, milk it for all it’s worth, and leave it be.

So he continued to bang on about systemic racism and racial injustice, continued to join the Rev. Al Sharpton at events of righteous indignation, and took every opportunity to claim victory over white supremacy, but to black people he was just an empty suit and to conservative white voters a bumbling, tedious, soon to be cashiered, black wannabee.  

Would Brittney Griner become his friend, share with him the realities of sexual otherness, invite him to gay gatherings in Bernal Heights? Hardly.  Joe Biden talked the talk, but had no clue whatsoever what he was saying.  Nor did the rest of his white party who made race the issue, the only issue, and who cited slavery, Jim Crow, prejudice, and oppression with a clear conscience.

Al Sharpton - IMDb

More and more the President channeled Al Sharpton, a race-baiter since the days of Tawana Brawley, an ambulance-chasing hack politician.  Biden took the MSNBC bait and thought that Sharpton was a moral, principled man of color who cared for his people; but Americans saw through both of them. 

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