Apparent Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who has long enjoyed broad support among African-Americans in the US, has recently faced backlash from the black community, as well as from his political opponents after he suggested that a person intending to vote for Trump in the upcoming election "ain't black". Biden further aggravated the situation by claiming that he has long enjoyed support from the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP).
"Take a look at my record. I extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP’s endorsed me every time I’ve run", Biden said.
But it seems that the former vice president got it wrong, as the CEO of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson, stated that the organisation has always stayed outside politics and never endorsed a single political candidate, including Biden.
"The NAACP has one mission and that is fighting for and advancing our Black communities towards an equitable reality. Our primary focus at this moment is to ensure that our communities that have been victims of domestic terrorism and disproportionately impacted by this pandemic have the opportunity to cast their powerful vote come November", Johnson stated.
Biden's blooper, made during an interview with Charlamagne tha God didn't pass unnoticed by his political opponents either. Katrina Pierson, a leader of the Black Voices for Trump group, branded the "you ain't black" comment "racist and dehumanising" for allegedly attempting to dictate to African-Americans how they should vote.
"He truly believes that he, a 77-year-old white man, should dictate how black people should behave. Biden has a history of racial condescension and today he once again proved what a growing number of black Americans and I have always known — Joe Biden does not deserve our votes", Pierson said.
Republican Senator for South Carolina Tim Scott, in turn, suggested that Biden tried to tell the around 1.3 million African-Americans who actually voted for Trump four years ago that they were not "black".
1.3 million black Americans already voted for Trump in 2016. This morning, Joe Biden told every single one of us we “ain’t black.” I’d say I’m surprised, but it’s sadly par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and brow beat those that don’t agree.— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) May 22, 2020
Trump's campaign seized the opportunity to get in few punches against Biden, who is currently polling slightly ahead of POTUS, by quickly releasing a new batch of merchandise featuring Biden's blooper in the form of a hashtag.
Hey @CompoundBoss, @realDonaldTrump is actually selling this shirt on his site. #YouAintBlack @JoeBidenhttps://t.co/50FH6MPq8e pic.twitter.com/TLRraMP7Sm— Robert™️ 🐧 (@DarthMode) May 22, 2020
Following the initial backlash, Biden walked back his remarks, admitting that he "shouldn't have been so cavalier" about the black community and that no one should cast a vote "based on their race or religion or background". He hasn't, however, commented on his unsubstantiated claims regarding his alleged NAACP endorsement.
It's also unclear whether the scandal might somehow affect the endorsement from his long-time ally former President Barack Obama, who extended his support to Biden in the middle of April. Obama even vaguely hinted that he might join his former White House ally's campaign, assuring his supporters that he "will see [them] on campaign trail as soon as" he can.