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Biden’s Sister Souljah Moment That Wasn’t

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Sorry, Joe. It’s too little, too late.

At one of his strikingly rare press availabilities in Delaware, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden did his best to stage his own “Sister Souljah Moment.”


For those too young to remember, a hip-hop artist and political activist going by the moniker “Sister Souljah” handed a young Bill Clinton a political lifeline in 1992. As racially-charged riots raged in Los Angeles, incumbent President George H.W. Bush promptly deployed the National Guard and rode a wave of good press for getting the violence and looting under control. By contrast, Bill Clinton looked weak and perhaps even complicit in the disorder.

Then Sister Souljah gave Clinton an opening. “I mean, if black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people? … why not kill a white person?” she mused in a characteristically ridiculous Washington Post interview.

Clinton played it perfectly, condemning Sister Souljah and taking Jesse Jackson to task for inviting her to a conference. He managed to look responsible and independent without too harshly alienating the activist left, selecting something that clearly crossed the line and coming down hard on it. Clinton, of course, went on to win the ‘92 election.

Although rhetoric like Sister Souljah’s has gone from controversial to mundane in the years since Clinton won the ‘92 election, Biden is trying to replicate Clinton’s feat.


At a campaign event in Delaware, weeks after the widespread riots he refused to condemn, and in the midst of a movement committed to the wholesale destruction of American history, Joe Biden thinks he has finally found his Sister Souljah Moment. As “protesters” rampage around America, tearing down statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and with his own party openly talking about doing the same thing and calling a Fourth of July party at Mount Rushmore a “rally glorifying white supremacy,” Biden finally decided that perhaps he should say something.

Apparently, Biden doesn’t actually support tearing down the Founding Fathers. He might even be willing to preserve memorials to Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of the New World. But even then, he couldn’t bring himself to actually condemn the people yanking down statues. It’s all part of “responding to systemic racism in America,” you see. He could only bring himself far enough to blurt out, “The idea of comparing whether or not George Washington owned slaves or Thomas Jefferson owned slaves and somebody who was in rebellion, committing treason, trying to take down a union to keep slavery — I think there’s a distinction there.”


Thanks, Joe — what we really needed at this moment was a tepid, wishy-washy rebuke of the violent extremists waging open war against our nation’s history and fundamental values.

Unlike Clinton’s seemingly-heartfelt condemnation of Sister Souljah, Biden’s extraordinarily mild criticism of the extremists who are trying to tear America apart does nothing but reinforce Biden’s inability to rein in the anti-American insanity that is now the driving force within the Democratic Party.

Biden’s failed Sister Souljah moment will do nothing but reassure the anarchists that they may do as they please because no one in the Democratic Party is going to do much to stop them.

Ken Blackwell is the former Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio and a member of the Advisory Board of Donald J. Trump For President, Inc.

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