port of harlem magazine
Perfect Is Not on the Ballot
June 04 – June 17, 2020
Publisher's Point

joseph duty

The hard news stories on the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd flipped the page and away from the soft news story of Joe Biden’s self-described “cavalier,” statement:  "you ain’t Black" if you're struggling to decide whether to back me or Trump. Instead of sharing our view, let us first share the views of two of our Port Of Harlem Facebook friends:

“Joe Biden said something stupid - as he has for decades. Joe Biden has foot-in-mouth disease. But, to be clear, he immediately apologized. (He didn't say that he "never apologizes.") He didn't pretend that he was "being sarcastic." He didn't deflect by blaming another high profile politician. He didn't have any army of defenders pretending that we didn't hear precisely what we heard. He wouldn't have been chosen to be the running mate for our ONLY Black president if he were racist. And he CONDEMNED these folks instead of calling them "very fine people."

-Larry Smith, Indianapolis, IN
“Trump came to political power questioning the legitimacy of the first Black President. Trump said he doesn't want people from "s### hole" (black/brown) countries in here.  Trump told 4 American congresswomen of color to "go back to the countries you came from." Trump loses his s### every time he's questioned by a reporter of color. Trump said any Jew who votes Democratic is betraying Israel.

And I'm supposed to get upset because Biden questions the intelligence of any Black person who supports Trump???

 Yeah, right.

-Steve Fair, Bowie, MD
During the period when too many voters and potential voters focused on Biden’s words, we shared these following links to encourage people to focus on deeper issues that could affect how they interpret Biden’s words and actions.

On The View, Representative James Clyburn was a bit Biblical: "In this instance, Joe did not do as well as I hoped in responding, but I will say this, I go about my business every day comparing Joe Biden to the alternative, not the Almighty."

In Port Of Harlem’s opinion, superficially, many have tried to rope Biden with his Crime bill, a bill that many Blacks supported as well. Going beyond the very simple headlines, this is one article that conjured up my weak memory of the situation when the bill was popular. The Crime-Bill Debate Shows How Short Americans’ Memories Are

For our liberal, idealistic, mostly White friends who prolong to advocate that Biden is not progressive enough to fill the needs of African people, I ask them, does Black votes matter?  The people of Mississippi, the Blackest state in the Union, gave 80 percent of their vote to Biden. And, in Chicago, Biden won handily after Sanders lost all 25 majority Black wards in Chicago in 2010 and again in 2016.

Blacks have spoken. Are you listening and joining or have you decided that your decision is superior?
"In this instance, Joe did not do as well as I hoped in responding, but I will say this, I go about my business every day comparing Joe Biden to the alternative, not the Almighty.

- Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)

And, Black people never cease to amaze me with their own “Black” test as they forward to this Black-owned publication links to stories from White-owned publications. Should we be insulted? So, we often share this story from our Archives:  Are You a Secondary Guardian to White Skin Privilege?

Let me end with my own posted response to Biden’s remarks, as posted on Facebook on Memorial Day:

In the 1860s, with an enslaved education, my great-great grandfather Joseph Duty (Company E  59th Regiment ) sided with the imperfect blue coats of the Union and against Confederates. 

This Memorial Day weekend, with an advanced education, I am siding with the imperfect Joe Biden and the Blue Team against modern Confederates.

Granddaddy Duty probably expected it would be easier for me to make such a decision than it was for him. It was. I will honor him by keeping my eye on the prize and my hands on the plow.
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