Does the black community really buy into the bullshit Joe Biden is spreading? Check his record. Check his comments in the past. Check his address. Joe Biden Has Built a Career on Betraying Black Voters BY BRANKO MARCETIC Joe Biden’s string of primary victories highlights a central paradox of his career: he has secured the loyalty of African American voters while working nonstop to let them down. An underwhelming start for Joe Biden’s campaign in February seemed to mark it as dead in the water. Now he’s back — and it’s in large part thanks to African-American voters. After his big South Carolina win on the back of strong black support revived his campaign, Biden solidified his place as the front-runner through a series of wins in Southern states on Super Tuesday, with (mostly older) African Americans in those states backing him in larger numbers. Biden has carefully cultivated loyal Democratic voters in the black community, both in this campaign and throughout his decades in Washington. “My entire life I’ve been involved with the black community,” he said during the last debate. “My entire career has been wrapped up in dealing with civil rights and civil liberties.” But surveying Biden’s record, one is left with a different impression: that Biden has, in fact, built a career on the back of steadfast African-American support while consistently betraying those same voters. Elected as county councilman in 1970, Biden was known as an advocate for public housing, earning him racist abuse from bigoted locals in Delaware. Yet he quickly assured the press about his public housing stance: “I am not a Crusader Rabbit championing the rights of people.” True to his word, when plans for a controversial moderate-income housing project came to the New Castle County Council in 1972 — one opposed by a crowd of hundreds who attended the meeting — Biden voted with the rest of the council to table it indefinitely. More accurately, Biden disappeared after a recess, and the vote had to be delayed until he could be found and his vote put on the record. When the county’s housing authority later drew up plans to buy a complex to convert to “non-elderly” public housing, the agency’s outreach to discuss the plan with Biden fell on deaf ears; Biden was too busy campaigning for the Senate. weaken civil rights protections. Biden’s failure was compounded four years later with the Clarence Thomas nomination, when, at Republicans’ behest, he did everything humanly possible to undermine Anita Hill’s testimony about the judge’s sexual harassment. All the while, Biden lectured Democrats to forget the multiracial coalition that formed the bedrock of their party and move closer to the politics of the suburban South. “You have been where the Democratic Party was, and now the Democratic Party must be where you are,” he told Democrats in North Carolina as he toured with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). At one stop in Alabama, he dropped from his stump speech references to police brutalization of civil rights protesters and his (nonexistent) civil rights activism. Key to his argument was that Democrats had “lost the middle class” by becoming beholden to “special interests” and “interest groups,” who “had a stranglehold on us.” But Biden meant something very specific with these innocuous-sounding terms. Even earlier in his career, he had referred to “minorities and other vested interests” and blamed unchecked growth in federal spending on constituent interest groups who wouldn’t give up on programs they benefited from. As he told the NAACP Convention in 1986: “You can’t try to pit the Rainbow Coalition, blacks, Hispanics, poor whites, gays, against the middle class.” For good measure, he pointedly snubbed Jesse Jackson by publicly ruling him out as his running mate. Jackson hit back, griping about unnamed deficit-cutters “combing their hair to the left like Kennedy and moving their policies to the right like Reagan.” “It’s about time politicians stop making pro-black speeches before pro-black groups and pro-labor speeches before the labor groups,” Biden once said. “People don’t want to hear what they think you think they want to hear.” pushing for war with Iraq (a conflict hugely unpopular with black voters) and suggesting Saddam Hussein was connected to Al-Qaeda, he turned around a month after voting for the war to tell an audience of African-American columnists that it was “the dumbest thing in the world,” and that he didn’t “consider the war on Iraq the war on terror.” Then there’s Biden’s infamous 2003 eulogy of segregationist and sexual predator Strom Thurmond, the man with whom Biden had worked to shift the US criminal code in a more punitive, unforgiving direction. Today, Biden’s South Carolina eulogy is viewed as an uncomfortable relic of a less enlightened era; in reality, it was unusual even then. Not only was Biden one of only two Democrats to show up to the funeral (the other, Fritz Hollings, had served with Thurmond for thirty-six years in the state), he was one of a mere seven of 225 living former and sitting senators to do so. Thurmond, who had famously filibustered the 1957 Civil Rights Act into oblivion, was a “brave man” whose “lasting impact” was a “gift to us all,” Biden told attendees. That’s not to mention Biden’s long history of taking aim at entitlements like Social Security, a program of enormous importance to African Americans, and which large numbers of black Americans rely on to survive. It’s one of those strange ironies of history that Biden, having spent a career betraying African Americans on key, consequential issues, now counts them as the main reason for his electoral viability; and that after insisting to Democrats that the party could only survive by prioritizing conservative white voters in the South over its multiracial base, he has been rescued from oblivion by mostly older black voters in the South. The fact that most of those in South Carolina backed him while telling pollsters that the US economic system needs a “complete overhaul” reveals this irony to be a tragedy.