Sunday, August 24, 2008

More thoughts on Biden.

So I've been thinking about him. And he's growing on me.

This might show my white privilege, but I think Biden's history of racist comments has actually been a point in his favor for his selection for this ticket. Hear me out.

Biden isn't a mean racist, not a hateful cross-burning won't vote for a black guy type. He's just a guy from that generation. He was born in 1942. And he's from fucking SCRANTON. (I can get you some really great stories about how rotten Scranton still is--one of my friends ran the Obama office there for the PA primaries.)

And the thing is, a lot of America thinks that way.

So to pick a white guy who has been criticized for racist comments both takes away that whole charge of the Black Agenda from Obama, and forgives a large portion of Americans for being casually racist themselves. It allows them to not be "the bad guys."

Don't get me wrong, whenever Biden says something dumb he needs to be smacked about it, and I'm certainly not saying we should just excuse racism. But we're never going to truly get past it until we stop making people into demons for slipups.

I mean, you all know I'm a feminist. I absolutely hate the word slut. Hate it with a passion. A couple of dear (male) friends of mine have used it in front of me and though it makes me cringe and kind of want to punch them in the face, instead I stop and talk to them about it. About double standards, about why it's wrong. And then they (usually, otherwise we wouldn't be friends) nod and tell me they'll try and do better.

They don't immediately become perfect. They do get a little defensive. But hopefully if I can talk to them about it, they'll learn.

If people can look at Joe Biden, Joe whitebread sixpack blue-collar commuter Biden, and see that he not only accepts Obama, but that Obama accepts him, they can feel more comfortable accepting and being accepted by Obama.

At least, I think that was some of the logic.

Plus, dude is FUNNY: (h/t Lawyers, Guns and Money)

So yes, Karthika, the more I think about it, the more he's growing on me. I do agree with Anthony (in comments) though, that this does somewhat legitimize the foreign policy critique. And I also agree with Anthony that foreign policy was the number one reason to support Obama. Still, I am optimistic about Biden.