President Joe Biden is being labeled a racist by some people, after he called rapper LL Cool J ‘boy’ in a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday night. Biden also mispronounced the rapper’s name, which is an acronym for Ladies Love Cool James, as LL Jay Cool J, which also could have been a sign of disrespect hidden behind the excuse of a gaffe.
Was Joe Biden Referring to LL Cool J as ‘Boy’ Racist’?
Biden was speaking at the Phoenix Awards Dinner, where LL Cool J and MC Lyte were honored for their musical contributions to the hip hop culture and the African American community. Biden praised the two artists as “two of the great artists of our time representing the groundbreaking legacy of hip hop in America” , but then stumbled over LL Cool J’s name and referred to him as “that boy” before quickly correcting himself and saying “that man”.
The use of the word ‘boy’ by a white person to address a black person has a long history of being considered a form of racism and disrespect, as it implies inferiority and subordination. The term was often used by white slave owners and segregationists to belittle and demean black men. Many civil rights activists and leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali, rejected the term and demanded to be called ‘men’ instead.
Joe Biden Was Friends with a Former KKK Member Whom He Considered a ‘Mentor’
Biden’s remark has drawn criticism from some commentators and observers, who accused him of revealing his true attitude towards black people behind closed doors. Some also pointed out Biden’s friendship with the late Senator Robert Byrd, who was a former member and organizer of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the 1940s.
Byrd later renounced his affiliation with the KKK and apologized for his involvement, but he still faced scrutiny for his past actions and views on race. Biden delivered a eulogy for Byrd at his funeral in 2010, calling him “one of my mentors” and “a friend”.
This is not the first time that Biden has faced backlash for his comments on race. During the 2020 presidential campaign, he told radio host Charlamagne tha God that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black”. He later apologized for being “cavalier” and said he did not take black voters for granted.
Biden has also been criticized for his record on criminal justice and busing policies that affected black communities. However, he has also expressed support for racial justice and equality, and appointed several black officials to his administration, including Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman and person of color to hold the position. However, some people believe he only chose Kamala Harris to secure black votes.
Biden has not publicly addressed his latest gaffe involving LL Cool J, who has not commented on the incident either. The rapper, whose real name is James Todd Smith, is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of hip hop music and culture, with a career spanning over three decades. He has won two Grammy Awards, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.