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Friday, June 14, 2024
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HomeEditor's PickNo lie is too shameful for Sleepy Joe

No lie is too shameful for Sleepy Joe

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The writer is in the US

IT’S graduation season here. Beginning in early May every year and lasting until just after Memorial Day at the end of the month, elaborate  ceremonies are held throughout the land in which millions of young Americans – high school and college seniors – receive scrolls of parchment bearing Latin phrases that few understand and the student’s full name in ornate copperplate script.

With my background in education and academia, I’ve attended many graduation ceremonies over the years, mostly because I was contractually obliged to do so. It seems odd that a nation which has been energetically dumbing down its educational system for decades places so much emphasis on these elaborate celebrations of academic achievement. In an era of social promotions and massive grade inflation, they count for little, apart from the great pleasure given those receiving the honours, and those who love them. To adapt Churchill, never in the field of human education were so many diplomas awarded by so many academic institutions to so many who know so little.

The highlight of the graduation ceremony is the commencement speech. High schools and colleges work hard to find the right speaker; the more of a celebrity he or she is the better. These days, such speeches tend to be full of platitudes about being all that you can be or how it is you, the young people of America, who are the nation’s future and can save us from the racist, homophobic, misogynistic and environmentally degraded status quo created by preceding generations.

Having suffered through so many, it’s rare I take notice of a commencement speech, but the one given by Joe Biden at Morehouse College in Atlanta this season really caught my attention. Not for its elegance or high moral sentiments, or for the quality of its delivery, but for what it reveals about Biden and the state of the nation.

Addressing an overwhelmingly black all-male student body, Biden began by flattering his audience before segueing to his favourite subject: himself. We heard the usual stuff about his being the first in his family to attend college and how he left a prestigious law firm to work as a public defender, before seeking, inspired by the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, elected office to advance the cause of civil rights. Mercifully, he did not repeat the lie that he had once been arrested in South Africa trying to visit the jailed Nelson Mandela. Or the many other untruths that punctuate his life of mendacity and serial plagiarism, not to mention his flagrant corruption and shameless peculation: what Americans call graft.

To his credit, he did mention the atrocities carried out in Israel by Hamas terrorists on October 7 of last year. Some students, protesting against Israeli ‘genocide’ and the country’s supposed status as an apartheid state, sat with their backs to Biden. Still, he received applause when he called for an immediate ceasefire, which would allow Hamas to survive and fight another day – and what a day that will be if, God forbid, it ever comes. His attempts to establish some kind of moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel, however, were garbled and imprecise, reflecting his need to reconcile those within his Democratic Party who support Israel and those who by their actions and statements support Hamas and challenge the Jewish state’s right to exist.

The most appalling parts of the speech came when Biden turned to the issue of race. Morehouse College, founded in 1867 on noble roots and Baptist principles to educate freed male slaves who had been denied an education, belongs to that group of academic institutions known as ‘historically black’ colleges and universities. Its alumni include Martin Luther King Jr and Spike Lee, and those who graduate from it are among the most privileged people on the planet. Earlier in his speech, Biden stated: ‘I got more Morehouse men in the White House telling me what to do than I know what to do’—all there, one hopes, for their merit, not for the colour of their skins.

After ludicrously claiming that Morehouse graduates ‘have to be ten times better than anyone else to get a fair shot’, thereby ignoring five decades of affirmative action, racial quotas and that civilisational toxin known as DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), he turned to one of his favourite themes: the prevalence of white supremacy.

He brought up George Floyd, a career criminal who died while being restrained by a police officer on a street in Minneapolis four years ago this month, but who has since been blasphemously canonised as a salvific Christ-like figure. Biden asked: ‘What is democracy if black men are being killed in the street?’

Yes, Mr President, young black men are being killed in the street in record numbers, but not by police as you imply: they are being killed by other black men. The Journal of the American Medical Association recently reported that in the first 18 months of the coronavirus event black juveniles aged 17 and younger died of gun homicide at 100 times the rate of white juveniles. We almost never learn their names because they are murdered not by hate-filled white supremacists, but by fellow blacks. The number of unarmed blacks killed by police remains low – 12 in 2019 – despite a poll of Americans who self-identify as ‘liberal’ showing that over half believe the number killed is in the thousands.

Biden must know he’s lying by omission. Is he not aware that, according to the US Department of Justice, 93 per cent of black victims of homicide are killed by black perpetrators? Their deaths resulted not from systemic racism or endemic white supremacy but from policies going back to the 1960s and the War on Poverty that have financially incentivised single motherhood and encouraged women not to live with or marry their children’s fathers. Fatherlessness, by which I mean children being raised in households in which fathers are not present, is the real tragedy of black America, and has resulted in the death of black family, which was strong before the 1960s.

But for Joe Biden this reality is irrelevant. No lie or subterfuge or divisive rhetoric is too shameful not to be used if it enhances his political power.

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Bernard Carpenter
Bernard Carpenter
Bernard Carpenter is a semi-retired history teacher.

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