Joe Biden is a white man in America.
White people are proud of the genocide of the indigenous people they called “savages” because the Native American holocaust was their “manifest destiny.” They have no trouble calling themselves the “founding fathers” of an economic superpower fueled by the bloody brows and calloused hands of enslaved Africans who occupied this continent centuries before the arrival of the men who enshrined white supremacy into the American ethos.
White people aren’t inherently racist but America is.
In America, whiteness is bulletproof. It is a birthright, a vaccine and a deflector shield that has historically shielded white people from self-awareness and the recognition of anyone’s humanity aside from their own. This country convinces housewives that they should spit in the face of schoolgirls and turns laymen into lynch mobs. That’s what simply living in the cool breeze of American history will do to white people.
Because of how America is set up, if we somehow found the kindest, most compassionate white infant who ever took a breath of American air, that child would need every ounce of strength, humility and consciousness it could muster from its baby muscles to simply not be racist.
And it would fail.
Because it would still be a white baby in America.
White people are not taught to be racist. America simply turns them into...Well...Americans.
To exist in America is to obey laws written by white supremacists that adhere to a Constitution written by white supremacists that reinforce white supremacy. And unlearning something that has been constantly confirmed by what is literally the most powerful institution in the world is a difficult—if not impossible task. Perhaps no other group on earth has balanced this maddening realization with compassion, strength and wisdom like black women in America.
White people cannot help themselves.
Black women always have.
On Friday, Joe Biden told Charlamagne Tha God: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Joe Biden has been making these kinds of gaffes for 40 years because he is a white man in America.
Whiteness supersedes his political position, his station and even his experience. And if he is going to represent a party tasked with dethroning the reigning world champion of whiteness, someone has to stop him from repeatedly doing this.
And it has to be a black woman.
For 400 years, black women have held down families and passed along our history. Even though they are treated the worse, not only have they been required to withstand all of the pain, but they were required to smile through it while staying the hands and soothing the anger of those who were ready to grab machetes.
And they also grabbed machetes.
This unique time in American history requires someone who is familiar with the consequences and can swing a machete. Kamala Harris and Val Demings go to work surrounded by dozens of mini-Trumps every day having to deal with racism and sexism while still passing legislation and proposing policy. Their careers have basically been training camps for balancing policy and politics inside the institutions built to subjugate them.
And, have you ever seen Stacey Abrams frown? I’ve been waiting for three years to hear her call Brian Kemp a “motherfucker” but she’s apparently a better person than I am. Even while fighting a hall-of-fame vote suppressor, she handled it with dignity and poise. There will be a lot of voting shenanigans in this election cycle and she might be better at dealing with election interference than any politician in the country.
There are no white men, white women or “people of color” who are qualified and have the policy experience to be Biden’s running mate. They may have the resume and the bona fides, but they are not black. In this election, blackness is not just a symbolic attribute that could attract voters. Black people are more invested in the outcome of this election because we have given the most to the Democratic Party and have benefitted the least. We cannot ask America to fulfill its promise to the Constitution while the Democratic Party ignores its debt to us.
Joe Biden does not owe black women anything. They voted for him freely in the primary. The Democratic Party doesn’t owe black people anything, either.
But they need us.
If the Democratic Party decides to chase white female moderates like they did in 2016, they should expect the same results. Remember the 53 percent? Gretchen Whitmer ain’t shit but a Midwestern Tim Kaine, and if you want to know how viable Amy Klobuchar is, just remember that I’m only seven primary delegates away from being tied with Amy Klobuchar in the race to the Democratic nomination and she has a $16,999,998 million lead on me in fundraising (I found $2 in the dryer yesterday).
Plus, do you think spending an entire campaign season with Amy Klobuchar or Gretchen Whitmer would produce fewer gaffes like this or more of the same?
Now, can you imagine even thinking some bullshit like what just happened with Biden knowing you were about to go meet with Kamala Harris or Val Demings?
To deflect from the history of racism, we like to talk about theoretical colorblindness and equality but the truth is, we are different for a reason. Our backgrounds and our lived experiences mean something. And any white person who is eligible to be vice president has been a resident in a country that has reaffirmed every prejudiced notion that dwells in their brain. They have been bulletproof all those years.
And the need for a black female running mate has nothing to do with the notion of “diversity” or paying back the electorate that propelled Biden to the nomination. A white woman is simply not qualified to snatch the country back from the hands of the current white supremacist regime. And if you think skin color should not be a prerequisite for a job, I wish you would’ve started making that point 400 years ago.
But someone has to stop Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Only a black woman can.