President Joe Biden has made another racist gaffe, reinforcing his reputation for throwing around archaic terms to describe Black people. The president referred to the late baseball player Satchel Paige as “the great Negro” before correcting himself during his Oct. 11 Veterans Day address at Arlington National Cemetery.
Biden was honoring the former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, Donald Blinken, an Army veteran and father of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, when the president switched gears. Biden started to tell a story about Paige, who played in the then-named “Negro Leagues” before being recruited by Major League Baseball in the late 1940s.
“I’ve adopted the attitude of the great Negro at the time, pitcher of the Negro leagues, who went on to become a great pitcher in the pros — in Major League Baseball — after Jackie Robinson. His name was Satchel Paige,” Biden recalled.
The term “Negro” is no longer acceptable — except for some places in Texas. A law was passed in that state in 1991 to remove the word from the area names such as creeks and valleys, The Houston Chronicle reported. But at least 26 Texas locations still feature the term due to federal red tape, according to Reese Oxner with Houston Public Media.
The use of the word “Negro” faded from U.S. language in the late 1960s as Black power activists started using “Black” instead, according to Ferris State University‘s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia.
Former President Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump was one of many conservatives who were all over Biden’s comment. “Did Biden just say what I think he said?” Eric asked, before tweeting a “flushed face” emoji.
While Republicans were speaking out against Biden’s “Negro” remark, not much was heard from Democrats, who seemed to remain silent on the remark.
The Poynter Institute’s journalism fact-checking nonprofit, PolitiFact, ran Biden’s latest gaffe through its wringer and concluded the following: “As he began to describe Paige as a great pitcher in the Negro Leagues and in Major League Baseball, Biden used the phrase ‘the great Negro,’ but then corrected himself to describe Paige as a great Negro Leagues pitcher.”
“There’s a tendency in mainstream media to take its cue from what Fox News and the right wing does,” Thompson said on Black News Channel’s The World Tonight with Kelly Wright & Nayyera. “Right wing Twitter is aflame now because they think Joe Biden still uses the term Negro. Clearly, he doesn’t, and he referred to the Negro Leagues … But this is what they do. They blow things out of proportion. This is what they’ve done with woke.”
Biden has made so many other racist slips that the hashtag #racistjoe is trending on Twitter.
Here’s what some had to say.
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Earlier this year, Biden called his senior advisor Cedric Richmond “boy” when introducing him during an Aug. 30 virtual briefing on Hurricane Ida held by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Richmond is Black, and the term “boy” is obviously offensive and considered racist.
At a 2019 fundraiser in New York City, Biden described working with segregationists in the Senate in the 1970s and 1980s. During that era, “at least there was some civility,” Biden said, according to a CNN report.