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Why Joe Biden Felt Comfortable Saying "You Ain't Black"
It's been over three years since Joe Biden publicly stated that if a black person doesn't vote for him that "you ain't black" but I haven't seen many people ask this question:
Why did Biden, an old white guy, feel comfortable making that statement in the first place?
The most daunting part of that interaction wasn't the chuckle and smirk he made after saying those words but how Charlamagne completely overlooked what was being stated. He was more concerned with having his question answered than challenging Biden's blackness meter. But why?
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With how racially sensitive people in the media are when there is even a hint of negative racial behavior in a story or dialogue, why was Joe Biden given a free pass to determine what being black was in the face of another black man?
Biden was comfortable playfully determining what a black person does because he sees the prevalence of gatekeeping the behaviors & interests of black people as a whole amongst other black people. Translation: If we do it to ourselves, then eventually others will join in.
From the music we're supposed to listen to, to how we speak, to our clothing options, there is this pressure to abide by some mostly unspoken and arbitrary standard of being acceptably black that supposedly we all agree on while no one knows who the author of these rules is.
We all care about our identity to a degree, and we have the desire to fit into groups, so the fear of ostracization exists and it compels people to second-guess their actions & motivations in every facet of their lives.
If you're unsure if something is acceptable, you simply avoid it because being safe is better than being sorry. Are you supposed to like this type of music? Is it okay that you like this type of food? Is how you're moving in life "black enough" in the eyes of strangers? Who knows.
One unknowing wrong black move can bring about a social penalty that becomes hard to come back from, including voting for the wrong party. This brings us back to why Charlamagne said nothing: it's because he agrees & has no problem with Biden's declaration of political blackness.
Because no one knows who the authors are of the black commandments that we're supposed to tailor our lives around, that means that anyone, including nefarious white people, can come in and etch in their own revisions for how we should think & behave to benefit them.
Whether it be the media's investment in portraying us as degenerates and gleeful fools or a politician's emotional plea for racial uniformity, they're all executed with the intention of controlling "black culture" and black people's behavioral patterns.
There are nearly 48 million black people who live in the United States yet there is this expectation of one way to exist and it could be randomly leveraged against you for daring to find a variation that suits you.
It gives the impression that you can't be moderately individualistic & care about the circumstances of other black people yet no other group of people in America is given such strict guidelines to adhere to (which fascinates me).
Joe Biden doesn't get to determine what it means to be black and neither does anyone else. The existence of external determination of what it means to be who I am will always be perceived as manipulation to benefit someone else's endeavors and mine be damned.
I didn't vote for Biden but I'm still black: he can't tell me otherwise.