Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Hope That Foot In His Mouth Was Clean

Senator Joe Biden, the presidential candidate with the shortest run ever:

Biden is taking some heat for comments he made to the New York Observer, in which he said of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a rival for the nomination: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

It could be that a comma is missing after the word "African-American". This would make the meaning slightly less racist, but it's still a very stupid comment to make, because as Garance Franke-Ruta points out, some words in some contexts mean very different things to people who belong to oppressed or previously oppressed groups, and it is no longer possible for politicians to thrive without acquiring the social intelligence to understand this.

Now that is a long sentence for me.