BET founder: Biden’s ‘you ain’t black’ remark ‘biggest turnoff’ from a politician in years
Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson said former Vice President Joe Biden’s comments last month about black voters who support President Trump were some of the most unsettling remarks he’s heard from a politician in years.
In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Johnson weighed in on Biden’s controversial comments to radio host Charlamagne Tha God on May 22 when he said “you ain’t Black” if you vote for Trump.
“Vice President Biden said to an African American, a Black American host on his show, even if you think about voting for Donald Trump, you’re not black,” Johnson told FoxNews.com. “To have that mindset, you must have the attitude that we, Black Americans, we own you. We can take you for granted. … That to me shows you that Black Americans are an appendage of a party.”
“That’s the biggest turnoff I’ve heard from a politician in a long time,” the 74-year-old added.
Biden later said his comments were a “mistake.”
Johnson also talked about Black Lives Matter, saying its supporters should form an independent party to challenge Democrats and Republicans.
“No minority group has ever achieved significant power in a two-party system when they are locked into one party and considered unreachable by the other party,” Johnson argued.
“I propose that an independent party formed by Black Lives Matter should echo the founding principles of the original Congressional Black Caucus members in 1971,” he added. “[Who] said black Americans should have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests?”
A recent Pew poll found a record 67 percent of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement.
“It is very possible a Black vote at 12 percent going one way toward Donald Trump could make Donald Trump president,” Johnson added. “That’s leverage, and Black Americans ought to recognize the leverage.”
Biden leads Trump by 10 points in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls. Among Black voters, Biden leads Trump by a whopping 92-5 margin in a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll.
Johnson, who said he has not made up his mind on who he’ll be voting for, credited Trump with lowering Black unemployment to historic lows.
“He took on one of the biggest issues facing African Americans — unemployment, and therefore lack of income and therefore the wealth gap,” said Johnson. “He addressed that and put a lot of African Americans to work and in a way that was more historic than it’s ever been. And I applauded him.”
Johnson founded BET in 1980 and was the nation’s first Black billionaire.