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Blacks Agree With Biden: Obama Not Black Enough
WASHINGTON, D.C. Senator Joe Biden's blooper on the day he joined the race for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination may have sunk his already remote chance of becoming President, but it hit the mark as far as black voters are concerned.
Biden's remark that "You got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy'' resonated with black voters.
"He ain't mainstream and he ain't black enough,"¯ said a black voter, Leroy Pettway of Tennessee. "His mammy was white and his daddy "¦ well "¦ his daddy was too black, being from Africa and all. We American blacks is not as black as the African blacks. We got some slaveowner white in us, to be sure, but we don't got white mamas. That's too much white! Biden is right. Obama is too bright and too clean to be black. Not like Al Sharpton. I be votin' for Hillary."¯
Obama said he didn't take Biden's remark personally, but said it was historically inaccurate. "African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues, and no one would call them inarticulate. Ineffectual, maybe, but not inarticulate.''
But black politicians were outraged by the Biden remark, and used it to attack Obama.
"Not clean and nice lookin'?"¯ said Al Sharpton. "He talkin' about ME?
"We got to continue the victim mentality,"¯ he continued. "¯Obama is gonna ruin things if he continues with this upbeat, let's all come together line. We've got to remind our constituents they came from slaves, we've got to be separate at the polls, we've got to feel the rage. I feel the power of that ... for me!"¯
Biden, 64, who is chairman of the important Senate Foreign Relations Committee, ran in the Democratic primary in 1988 until he was revealed to have plagiarized a speech by a British politician.
"¯Look on the bright side," he said. "At least I didn't plagiarize this one."¯