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Charlamagne tha God says Biden is 'part of systematic racism' as former VP walks back 'you ain't black' remark

The Democratic candidate apologized to the black traders' body over the remarks he made while talking to Charlamagne tha God on Firday, May 22
UPDATED MAY 23, 2020
Joe Biden and Charlamagne tha God (Getty Images)
Joe Biden and Charlamagne tha God (Getty Images)

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden found himself in damage-control mode yet again after getting caught in a race-based controversy that threatens to tarnish his credentials with black voters.

The 77-year-old is popular with the Afrian-American community and has received big support for them to surge ahead in the primaries. However, on Friday, May 22, Biden appeared on ‘The Breakfast Club’, a syndicated radio show popular with black millennials hosted by popular host Charlamagne tha God, where he told the rapper that he ‘ain’t black’ if he could not discern who is a better presidential candidate—himself or Trump. As expected, his comments drew harsh criticism, and Biden was forced to issue an apology to leaders from the community. Later on Friday, Biden said on a conference call with the US Black Chamber of Commerce: “I should not have been so cavalier. I’ve never, never, ever taken the African-American community for granted. I shouldn't have been such a wise guy.”

"There are African Americans who think that Trump was worth voting for, I don't think so. I'm prepared to put my record against his," Biden further said in his clarification.

The former VP also added that no one should have to vote for any party based on their race, religion and background. Biden's senior adviser Symone Sanders later clarified saying Biden made his remarks in a "jest".

Biden made a startling comeback in the primaries after an ordinary start when he handsomely won South Carolina after influential black leader Jim Clyburn endorsed him. That victory boosted Biden’s campaign and he followed it up with impressive wins in the Super Tuesdays by bagging a big chunk of African-American votes.

Joe Biden and James Clyburn (getty Images)

Biden and tha God had arguments during the interview after an aide to the Democrat intervened twice to remind him that he was over on time. It was then when the host told him that he couldn’t do that to the black media. “I've got to do that to white media and black media because my wife has to go on at 6 o'clock,” Biden replied, then muttered after checking the time: “Uh oh, I'm in trouble.”

Tha God then asked Biden to come to New York to see him in the wake of the pandemic which has claimed nearly 100,000 lives in the US now. “It’s a long way until November, we’ve got more questions,” the host said.

Biden was taken aback by this and then shot back with his controversial words ‘then you ain’t black’. Tha God then said it had nothing to do with Trump. “I want something for my community,” he said.

'Look at my record'

The former vice president then asked the host to take a look at his record which he said was ‘second to none’.

“I extended the voting rights act 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP has endorsed me every time I've run. Come on, take a look at my record,” he said. When his aide tried to intervene for the third time, Biden promised he would come back to the show again and called tha God ‘pal’.

The show witnessed other moments when tha God asked Biden about his cognitive health by pointing at many attacks on the right. He suggested Biden was seeing mental decline to which the latter said he couldn’t wait to take on the "stable genius" in Trump.

Tha God slams Biden’s track record

Tha God did an interview with CNN later the same day where he slammed Biden over his track record with black voters. He said the former Delaware senator was a "very intricate" part of the "systematic racism" that needed to be "dismantled".

“My overall takeaway from the conversation is that I heard him talk about things he did for black people back in the day but what have you done for me lately is my motto,” he told the outlet. “I see Black communities catching hell no matter who is in the White House,” he added.

The 41-year-old host said Biden was really one of the people on the front lines when it came to battles on drugs and mass incarceration. He said if Biden wanted to be the president, he needed to fix that.

Tha God was angry over the fact that people were talking about how coronavirus was hurting the black community but failed to speak on "health issues stemming from systematic racism that has never been fixed".

“Like I said before if you have created legislation that has hurt then you have to create legislation that helps, it's just that simple. The whole system needs to be dismantled and rebuilt and he has been a very intricate part of that system,” he said.

Rapper P Diddy, aka Puff Daddy, also criticized Biden in a tweet, saying: “Aye bruh @JoeBiden I already told you the #BlackVoteAintFree.”

Black Republicans appalled

Some black Republicans, including Michigan Senate candidate John James, took on the former vice president in a tweeted video for his remarks. "You challenging me and millions of other people out there on their blackness, descendants of slaves, from you is some seriously condescending, out of touch bullcrap," he said, questioning whether Biden should 'even be running for president in the Democratic Party who says they're for black people'.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott said on a Trump campaign call that he was 'struck by the condescension and the arrogance'.