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RUBEN NAVARRETTE JR.: Biden’s worst gaffes always seem to be about race

Despite his wild claim, it seems Joe Biden was never arrested during the civil rights movement. The Washington Post awarded “Four Pinocchios” for that whopper.

If racial demagoguery were a crime, Biden would have been locked up long ago.

Last week, the president devilishly went down to Georgia and played a whole deck of race cards against Republicans over voting rights. Of course. That’s how Biden rolls.

Speaking at Atlanta University Center Consortium, Biden first took aim at Republicans in the state legislature. He accused them of giving themselves “the power to make it easier for partisan actors — their cronies — to remove local election officials” and “turn the will of the voters into a mere suggestion.”

This, Biden charged, amounted to “Jim Crow 2.0” which has two goals: “voter suppression and election subversion.”

Then Biden turned his focus to the Republican minority in the U.S. Senate, which opposes Democratic-sponsored voting rights legislation.

“Here’s one thing every senator and every American should remember: History has never been kind to those who have sided with voter suppression over voters’ rights,” the president said. “And it will be even less kind for those who side with election subversion. So, I ask every elected official in America: How do you want to be remembered?”

Then came the three sentences that many Democrats would probably like to forget.

“At consequential moments in history, they present a choice: Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?” Biden asked. “Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”

For those who showed up late to history class, Biden basically accused today’s Republicans of traveling down the same morally bankrupt road paved by the Democrats of yesteryear.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responded that what Biden was really saying was “agree with me or you are a bigot.”

Biden’s racially charged language was no surprise. He rarely misses a chance to divide Americans by race.

Biden beat the race drum as a senator from Delaware in 1992 when, on the Senate floor, he bragged that a crime bill he authored was so harsh that it did “everything but hang people for jaywalking.” He beat it again in 1994 when he authored the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which has been called “racist” for producing longer prison sentences, more prison cells, more aggressive policing and higher incarceration rates for Latinos and African Americans. In fact, he beat the drum for the next 20 years, as he continued to defend what he proudly called the “Biden bill.”

Then, in August 2012, during a campaign speech in Danville, Virginia, Biden hit the race drum so hard that he broke it. Speaking to an audience that, according to press accounts, contained “hundreds of African Americans,” Biden essentially accused Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his friends in banking and finance of wanting to bring back slavery.

“Romney wants to let the — he said in the first hundred days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street,” Biden said. “They’re going to put you all back in chains!”

At the time, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. — according to CBS News — called Biden’s comment “stupid” during a radio interview.

“Was he talking about slavery? You bet your ass he was. Was he using the vernacular? Yes, he was,” Rangel said. “Did he think it was cute … Yes, he did. Was it something stupid to say? You bet your life it was stupid.”

Finally, in 2020, Biden told Charlamagne tha God, co-host of the morning radio show “The Breakfast Club,” that any African American who would think about voting for Donald Trump “ain’t Black.” Earlier, when Biden called Trump “the first” racist to be elected president, Charlamagne angrily responded: “I really wish Joe Biden would shut the eff up forever.”

No such luck.

Biden has been in the game of politics for nearly 50 years. And, for most of that time, the native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, has dabbled in the “protection” racket — with a mischievous racial twist.

For the first half of his political career, Biden promised white people that he would protect them from Black people. In the second half, he spends a lot of time vowing to protect Black people from white people.

But after all the years of racial politicking, who will protect us from Joe Biden?

Contact Ruben Navarrette at crimscribe@icloud.com. His podcast, “Ruben in the Center,” is available through every podcast app.

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