Give it up for MAGA hat wearers and 53% of white women; they did a pretty solid job of scaring black people into thinking Joe Biden could and should be a thing, based squarely on Joe Biden’s ability to be white and be inoffensive to Joe Schmoe from Idaho.
Biden, who is trash, has a 48% lead with black voters, compared to 20% for Joe Biden and 9% for Elizabeth Warren. Cory Booker, who until this week was the only remaining candidate of color in the race, was only just polling at 4%.
We don’t have to go into an extensive reason of why Biden’s advantage with black voters makes no sense; Biden assisted Congressional Republicans in dismantling busing country-wide; he wrote the 1994 Crime Bill that helped lead to higher mass incarceration rates for African-Americans; in 1986 he co-sponsored legislation that treated crack cocaine (which ravaged black communities) more harshly than powdered cocaine (which white people used more); participated in (or at least did nothing to stop) the national harassment of a successful black woman and led directly to a monster being put on the Supreme Court. (Okay, I said we didn’t have to go into the reasons, I didn’t say I would.)
But, as was the case with Hillary Clinton, don’t mistake black people stepping in line behind Biden to mean they think he’s actually good. As stated, Biden is trash, for reasons that are numerous and plentiful as sweet bass licks in an Earth, Wind and Fire song. And black people know he’s trash.
But he’s acceptable, presentable trash. He’s trash that won’t upset the apple cart. Black people voted in record numbers to help elect the first African-American president, and white people flipped the hell out and elected Donald Trump instead.
Hillary Clinton was also trash, but she was competent trash. What black people didn’t and couldn’t count on was, in addition to America be racist AF, it is also sexist AF. I don’t need a lengthy list of reasons why Clinton wasn’t the best candidate (believe you me, I know), the fact that she couldn’t gain traction even with other white women speaks to how deeply white-male centered patriarchy has infected the country.
Biden’s lead in the polls with black voters isn’t about something he has to offer the country, which is functionally “make shit more like it was in 2016, when it was only kinda bad instead of catastrophically bad”. It’s a self-preservation technique. It’s trying to restore order by giving white people what they seem to want in a President more than anything else; a mediocre white dude running shit.
(This is the part where I add the caveat “not all white people”, because somebody will be mad about it.)
Sure, black America could back a candidate like Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie Sanders, or Kamala Harris, or Julian Castro, or Cory Booker, or hell, even Tulsi fuckin’ Gabbard…but black Americans have bought into the media created lie that the way you win the nomination is by not upsetting people who haven’t voted for a Democrat since the Civil Rights act passed. And the way you do that is by presenting a paragon on centricism, a guy who won’t make people mad by suggesting anything as insane as “black lives matter”, “maybe cops shouldn’t be able to shoot unarmed black people”, and “healthcare probably shouldn’t bankrupt you”.
Biden is going to ride the center line straight to the Presidency (probably, hopefully, because even Biden would make a better president than the bloated corpse of a drowned pig currently scarfing down a Big Mac in the Oval Office), and black people are going ride with him, not because he’s the best guy for the job, but because he’s the guy in the office who will both nod intently and seem empathetic when your black colleague talks about the bullshit ticket he got pulled over for, and also laugh at the off-color racist joke the dude who has a MAGA hat just sitting in his cubicle waiting to be remarked on just told.
Electing Donald Trump was a power play by white, cisgender, straight Americans who felt that progress and equality got a little too close. The message was clear; “do this shit again, America, and we will burn this shit to the ground”.
Biden’s seemingly unshakeable lead amongst candidates who are demonstrably better than him suggests that people of color got that message loud and fuckin’ clear.