With his most recent accusations that black voters considering casting a vote for Trump and not him “ain’t black,” Democratic candidate Joe Biden joins a long list of African adjacent individuals and industries who socially dictate blackness to the black collective. From StepinFetchit who re-presented a caricature curated and displaced onto blacks by white hegemony to sitcoms and reality shows who align inauthentic physical attributes with a sapphire caricature, white supremacy manifests in socially dictated blackness to its viewers. These images do not re-present anything; they create reality.
Joe Biden’s statements perform a similar function. Specifically, Biden’s accusations illuminate the myopia engendered from white supremacist re-presentation.
This socially engineered blackness exists solely to curate a white identity that fails to exist in its absence. Biden references a blackness mutilated by the fantasy of democracy. This fantasy conceptualizes the black constituency as a faction that finds glory in a party that habitually takes them for granted. Thus, Biden’s “ain’t black” claims reference those not under the spell of an Obama nostalgia or those not espoused to America’s mutilated version of democracy.
Biden’s words, therefore, do not represent a gaffe. Instead, Biden betrays the arrogance that for too many self-proclaimed white allies and white friends conceal behind demagogy and sycophancy. Notably, Biden illuminates how white “allies” weaponize their proximity to black people for their own gains.
Biden’s statement reinforces the reality that the United States remains sewn together by the common thread of the African presence. Biden and Trump illuminate this truth with platforms established based on their proximity to blackness. What I mean here, is that Biden’s words illuminate that his platform relies on an underserving black allegiance in the same way that Trump maintains his platform as an adversarial force to any and all who are not wealthy, white, and male. Given that Reade’s accusations have troubled the female constituency as a reliable campaign pillar, Biden now relies on the minority crutch. Biden’s statement, therefore, constitutes a threat from a desperate man.
The reality is that only those bound to a western form of blackness see a distinction between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. You “ain’t black” if you see Biden and Trump as anything but different clothing cut from the same fabric. You “ain’t black” if you see democratic and republicans as anything but synonyms of white supremacy. To believe anything to the contrary is to possess a cognitive state that re-presents white ideology, and that “ain’t black” at all.
In conclusion, Biden’s statement reinforces the reality that America continues to be that which majority dreams are made, dreams only made possible by the re-presentations of themselves they cast in our image.