Mary Katharine Ham

It's not the first time Biden has misspoken where race politics are concerned. If you search his name on YouTube, as many voters will do in the run-up to the '08 election, you'll find this comment from July 2006:

"In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking," he said to an Indian-American supporter.

And, this lesser-known but more bizarre comment on the reasons he can win a primary in South Carolina:

"You don't know my state. My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state has the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a Northeast liberal state," Biden said.

Now first, there's the issue of the racial double standard. Had a Republican said any one of these three obviously racially tinged comments -- all arguably offensive -- we would all have to go through a national "teaching moment" of at least several news cycles about the dark, underlying racism they revealed about our society. There would be a "need for dialogue" and white-guilt drum circles and candlelight vigils and Al Sharpton press conferences, all to bemoan the fact that we have such racist, ignorant, white Republicans living in our midst.

For Republicans, it doesn't even take a real racial slur to spur such a national reaction and ruin a career. A sorta-kinda made-up word that sorta-kinda sounds like a racial slur for dark-skinned people will do. As long as you're a white Southern Republican, that sorta-kinda slur will earn you more than 150 references in The Washington Post.

If you're a Republican, it takes only the suggestion of a very un-jungly-sounding timpani drum beat in the background of a radio ad about a black candidate or the mere casting of a white woman in a TV ad to set off the liberal elites' hyper-sensitive racism alarms.

It seems to me liberals beholdest the mote, but considerest not the beam, if you know what I'm saying. They beholdest the "macaca," but considerest not the "clean black man." They beholdest the "jungle drums," but considerest not the affinity for blackface in the liberal blogosphere. Biden alone has enough beams in one eye to keep Jimmy Carter's favorite charity afloat (add Jimmy's recent unkind outbursts about Jewish people, and you've got a veritable lumberyard).

When Biden was asked how he could win a Southern state as a Northeastern liberal, he touted his state's credentials as a bona fide "slave state." When liberal politicos heard drums behind a black candidate's name, their minds immediately jumped to "jungle savage." When lauding black, male candidates, liberals called them "articulate" and "child-like."

When it comes to race, liberal policy and attitudes are stuck in a very antiquated, condescending pattern. Minorities must be helpless victims in order to need extensive help from liberals, so liberals spend time finding ways in which minorities can be constantly portrayed as helpless victims in order to justify inefficient social programs that create more victims than they help, which in turn ensures more Democrats are re-elected. After a while, liberals can forget minorities aren't helpless, as they've been making them out to be.

Is it any wonder that they're surprised by the good hygiene of their latest African-American star?


Mary Katharine Ham

Mary Katharine Ham is editor-at-large of HotAir.com, a contributor to Townhall Magazine.

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