Joe Biden calls Hispanics 'Latinx' and implies they're illegal, slammed for 'casual racism'
President Joe Biden was attempting to dispel vaccine hesitancy during his visit to Raleigh, North Carolina, but might just have failed. The president was in the city on June 24, in a bid to increase North Carolina's vaccination rate from the current 55%. There, he mixed up Tuskegee airmen with the Tuskegee syphilis study and used the controversial term Latinx.
The president, known for his gaffes, has become a popular punching bag on the Internet for his rather controversial statements. Recently, social media claimed Biden threatened to nuke America when he was simply referring to restrictions on gun rights. That same speech saw people concerned about Biden's "sleepy" and "confused" nature. He is also currently involved in a tussle with the Catholic Church over his abortion stance.
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Now once again, he has stirred up controversy, this time for the way he addressed vaccine hesitancy amongst minorities. The speech might just harm the president's aim, with the White House already acknowledging it wouldn't meet its July 4 goal. With the rapid spread of the new Delta plus variant, that could be bad news for the US.
Biden calls Hispanics 'Latinx'
The Daily Caller was one of the first to notice Biden's controversial statement, putting up a video on Twitter. During his speech, Biden said, "There's a reason why it's been harder to get African Americans initially to get vaccinated. Cause they are used to being experimented on. The Tuskegee Airmen and others. People have memories." Social media was quick to fact-check Biden, noting that it wasn't the Tuskegee airmen that were experimented on, but the students of Tuskegee University.
It appears he was referring to the Tuskegee syphilis study by the US Public Health Service (PHS) between 1932 and 1972. The study, widely slammed for its racist nature of targeting Black residents, is also often credited with a sharp erosion in trust of public health efforts. The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African American World War 2 pilots, widely credited for their efforts in helping turn the tide of the war. However, that mixup wasn't even the most controversial thing Biden said in his latest speech.
"It's awful hard as well to get Latinx vaccinated as well. Why? They're worried they'll be vaccinated and deported," Biden said.
That gaffe didn't go down well with many users on social media for primarily two reasons. The first being the use of LatinX. The controversial term was coined as a gender-neutral reference to Hispanics, as an alternative to Latino/Latina. However, a lot of Latin Americans don't seem to like the term, as some users made clear. Biden was also slammed for implying that they were all illegal, when in fact many have come to the US legally.
BIDEN: "It's awful hard as well to get Latinx vaccinated... Why? They're worried they'll be vaccinated and deported." pic.twitter.com/gt2mcuAGB2— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 24, 2021
Social media was quick to rip into Biden, with users trolling and criticizing the president for his racist remarks.
'Latino were not xmen'
"Latino pendejo not latinex were not f*kn xmen," one person tweeted. Another said, "A small piece of me cringes every time someone calls us LatinX." Another said the speech was "Casual racism from the President."
Latino pendejo not latinex were not f*kn xmen— bhuezo (@bhuezo) June 24, 2021
A small piece of me cringes every time someone calls us LatinX.— AO (@TheAtomRay) June 24, 2021
Casual racism from the President.— David (@mdleslie) June 24, 2021
"I hate that word Latinx don't call us that we are LATINO AND LATINAS," one user said.
I hate that word Latinx don't call us that we are LATINO AND LATINAS— Smith61 (@DoraSmi37278688) June 24, 2021
Others were quick to pounce on Biden's "deported" statement. One person said, "So Biden looks at all Latinx as illegal immigrants? And yall let them brainwash you that Trump was the racist?" Another tweeted, "I’m not sure what’s worse here, that Joe Biden unironically uses the term “LatinX,” or that Joe Biden thinks all Latin Americans are illegal aliens."
So Biden looks at all Latinx as illegal immigrants? And yall let them brainwash you that Trump was the racist?— Conservative Waterboy (@politicalH2Oboy) June 25, 2021
I’m not sure what’s worse here, that Joe Biden unironically uses the term “LatinX,” or that Joe Biden thinks all Latin Americans are illegal aliens https://t.co/JuHCMuNVCk— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) June 25, 2021
Others trolled the president for mixing up the Tuskegee airmen with the syphilis study. The White House is yet to issue a clarification, or an apology, which if history is right, will not be coming at all. The White House has very rarely acknowledged Biden's gaffes.