Comments by U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) (64) illustrate why the 2008 election will probably turn out to be a fight between Old-School politics vs. New- School politics--with New-School politicians coming out on top.
In sizing up U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, what did Biden mean when he told the New York Observer: "[Y]ou got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy?"
Besides exposing his ignorance, Biden's remarks were typical of what some whites think about successful blacks. These high-powered African-Americans aren't like their heathen brothers--and in Oprah's case--heathen sisters.
Most successful African-Americans have experienced the moment when a well-meaning white person told them something like:""You're not like other black people" or "You're different from other blacks."
More than likely, they formed their opinions based on the images of African-Americans they have seen in the media.
But Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, the same year the late Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman to run for president. He was in the Senate for both of the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson's campaigns, and when Carol Moseley Braun and the Rev. Al Sharpton used a presidential campaign as a platform to debate critical issues affecting African Americans.
There's no excuse for this kind of ignorance.
Biden's blunder shows just how out-of-touch he really is.