Re-upping this piece I wrote for @PostOpinions, given the deluge of pieces claiming "Biden Needs a Sister Souljah Moment." No he doesn't. He spoke about race all through 2020 & he won. Biden & Dems need to go on the offensive w/ their own antiracist vision
I remembered that I felt Biden had done good job speaking about race in both 2020 & 2021. When I began looking at aspects of his speeches, I found he employed a few rhetorical tactics that struck a really delicate balance btwn trying to persuade white people *&* honoring the base
I am most concerned w/ how Biden tries to honor the base of the Dem party:
Biden NAMES systemic racism. He identifies complicity in all of us. He gives highly specific examples of Black citizenship, Black pride, & Black suffering
Biden also gives a face to white oppression. He doesn't sugar coat it. In his speech on George Floyd's murder, he repeatedly cites Bull Connor & his dogs. In his Tulsa speech, he describes specific acts of violence committed by a "white mob"

Though Biden identifies specific white oppressors--which is a good tactic--he doesn't set all *other* white people apart, as if racism is foreign. Instead he involves all white people in this American trajectory of racism & anti-racism. He asks white people to join the right side

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More from @magi_jay

24 Nov
By @EricBoehlert: "Harris made history this year, the best kind. The Beltway media seems determined to treat her achievement as an opportunity to rewrite to rules on how to cover the first woman VP in a new, hyper-critical way."…
I showed the Harris "THEE" video to two white male professors. Both expected it to be minor, a nitpick by the press, but that perhaps Harris said "the" in an odd way by mistake. Both reared back & started laughing when they saw the video, saying, "I say that ALL the time!"
THEE-gate may seem like a relatively minor thing, but, to my mind, it's actually a rather big thing. Thinking that Harris said "the" in an abnormal (French) way requires forgetting how you & others have said the most frequent word in English billions of times throughout your life Image
Read 4 tweets
23 Nov
1. Approval for the overall packages, including BBB, is high. It's at 58%. Neither Obama or Trump's signature leg had these kinds of #'s.
2. People aren't that tuned into SALT
3. The inflation/economic security data *also* show disconnects.
We don't have direct data showing the media has a causal role. We do have *tons* of indirect evidence suggesting they do. We also have logic. One such piece of info is that voters know about the cost of the bill *more* than they know about the provisions. And the gaps are huge.
If 88% of voters care about prescription drug prices & 73% endorse paid family leave, but only between 40-46% have heard of these, that's a problem. If people are grateful for the CTC, which is also on the table, but don't know Biden is responsible, that's also a problem.
Read 6 tweets
23 Nov
Conservatives continue to misunderstand the very basic observation of my article: it's not a problem for our democracy that Joe Biden is unpopular. The problem for our democracy is the *disconnect* between their policy preference, self-interest, & voting intent
Look, I realize Republicans don't think this is a problem, &, in fact, they rely on it, but if senior citizen's primary concern is his social security check & financial insecurity, he should not be voting for Republicans. It's bad this connection has not been made for him.
Now, maybe this interviewee is just making stuff up. But the fact of the matter is that polling shows voters like him do exist. Republicans have the largest midterm advantage since 1981 & they *oppose* the agenda that most voters support. *That*'s the problem for democracy
Read 7 tweets
23 Nov
I'm so glad that the MN State GOP brought up these substantive issues. As I say in my piece, inflation is a real concern for many Americans. At the same time, the data on inflationary concerns also show a disconnect. 64% of Americans say their financial situation is *good.*
Inflation is real & many people are hurting. What's interesting though, again, is this disconnect. The majority of Americans feel personally comfortable & yet that's not reflected in their economic views.…
In terms of supply chain issues, I understand the concern. But the good news is these issues are getting fixed. The even better news is that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill passed by a Dem majority in Congress goes a long way to fixing future issues.
Read 4 tweets
22 Nov
I wrote about the disconnect between Biden's approval rating--which appears to be slumping--& approval for his agenda--which remains high. This isn't just a problem for Democrats. It's a problem for democracy. The media has a role to play.…
There are likely multiple factors contributing to Biden's slumping approval, some of which can be attributed to Dem messaging, as well as other issues, such as inflation. That said, the *decoupling* between approval for a president & approval for his agenda is very concerning.
Picture it this way: Biden is passing & advancing popular legislation that has real importance for many Americans. They like the agenda. And, yet, there is an atmosphere around Biden & Dems that is not only driving them away from Biden, but towards the GOP, who oppose the agenda.
Read 23 tweets
22 Nov
Liberals hoping that the perpetrator of a crime is not a POC is not irrational, soulless, or ideological. Nor does it reflect a lack of sense of tragedy. The instinct comes from the fact that if a single perpetrator is a POC, other POC may be harmed, rhetorically or otherwise.
If we lived in a non-racist world, this thought process would be different. But we live in a world where 9/11 led to attacks on people who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent. We live in a world where police are riddled w/ racial bias. Where white vigilantism is on the rise.
If a white person commits a heinous crime, we get to view that crime as a single incident, committed by an individual. If a POC does the same, people will both implicitly & explicitly extend the actions of the individual perpetrator to members of their racial or ethnic group.
Read 8 tweets

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