Jemele Hill, staff writer for The Atlantic and former ESPN commentator who sparked national controversy when she referred to President Donald Trump as a “white supremacist,” defended Joe Biden on Friday after he told black Americans they “ain’t black” if they don’t vote for him come November.
In her tweet on Friday, Hill denounced Trump for his “devotion to a Nazi sympathizer” in reference to when he praised Henry Ford during his visit to the Ford plant last week.
“The issue wasn’t what Joe Biden said, because it was accurate,” tweeted Hill. “The issue was that it came from Biden. It also was clearly a joke that didn’t land. But I’m wondering where all this outrage was yesterday when y’all president declared his public devotion to a Nazi sympathizer.”
The issue wasn’t what Joe Biden said, because it was accurate. The issue was that it came from Biden. It also was clearly a joke that didn’t land. But I’m wondering where all this outrage was yesterday when y’all president declared his public devotion to a Nazi sympathizer.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) May 22, 2020
After receiving some blowback from several Twitter followers, Hill doubled down by defending Biden’s track record.
“I don’t have a problem with the statement because he was clearly referring to this from a policy and track record standpoint. If you’re black and you support anti-black policies and positions, then that makes you …? You’re still technically black but you ain’t with us,” she tweeted.
The issue IS the statement tho, it’s also the person that made it (who’s currently posing for POC) and then lastly, it’s ppl who think JUST LIKE him. Which are both Dems & Repubs. 💜
— Aaron Camper (@AARONCamper) May 22, 2020
Jemele Hill, who has previously argued that black athletes should leave white colleges for historically black ones, got roasted for an inarguably bigoted position toward other blacks that do not think like her.
“The problem was, in fact, what he said. He’s gaffe prone and Trump said something worse, fine––that’s to be expected. What’s more disturbing is this acceptance of the idea that an ethnic identity *must be wed* to a specific politics. What other ethnic group is policed like this?” tweeted Thomas Chatterton Williams.
“1) Which is it? A “joke” we’re not supposed to take seriously or an “accurate” truth? 2) It not surprising that a known racist does racist things. It is noteworthy (and newsworthy) when the chosen representative of a multiracial, inclusive party dabbles in racial essentialism,” tweeted Briahna Joy Gray.
In an appearance on the “The Breakfast Club” on Friday, Biden made his comment when host Charlamagne Tha God told the former vice president to come back on his show to answer “more questions” pertaining to black American issues.
“You’ve got more questions?” Biden replied. “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Symone D. Sanders, Joe Biden’s campaign adviser, instantly came to his defense, arguing he made the comments in “jest” while citing his past record with black Americans.
“Vice President Biden spent his career fighting alongside and for the African American community. He won his party’s nomination by earning every vote and meeting people where they are and that’s exactly what he intends to do this November,” Sanders tweeted. “The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.”
Biden has since said his remarks were “too cavalier.”