Democratic strategist Joel Payne was left ‘embarrassed’ after insinuating on TV that black Trump supporters were merely stock models paid to pose in pro-Trump t-shirts. His remarks followed former vice president Joe Biden’s claim that, if you are having a hard time deciding whether to vote for him or President Trump, then ‘you ain’t black’.
Payne was the latest Biden defender to put his foot in his mouth by erasing black Trump supporters, chuckling during a CBS News interview that two black people shown wearing the Trump campaign’s new ‘you ain’t black’ t-shirts were probably just paid models.
‘Those two models you showed wearing those shirts…I wonder if they’d actually vote for Donald Trump. That might be a good question for an industrial journalist to dig into’, Payne said with a smirk.
Little did he know, both of the individuals shown wearing the t-shirts are actually staffers for the ‘Black Voices for Trump’ coalition. Harrison Floyd, the executive director of ‘Black Voices for Trump’, and Gail Wilson, the deputy executive director, had some fun responding to Payne’s mistake — the coalition’s Twitter account posted a video of Floyd dancing to Kanye West with the caption ‘Hey @cbsnews, look at our model, we mean our full-time staffer who is the Black Voices for Trump Executive Director.’
Hey @cbsnews, look at our model, we mean our full-time staffer who is the Black Voices for Trump Executive Director.
— Black Voices for Trump (@BlackVoices4DJT) May 24, 2020
Floyd admitted in a tweet he was ‘super embarrassed’ and ‘probably should not have made that assumption’ about Floyd and Wilson.
Biden also eventually apologized for his ‘you ain’t black’ remark made on ‘The Breakfast Club’ after backlash, stating that he regret being so ‘cavalier’ and that ‘no one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.’ Charlamagne Tha God, the host of The Breakfast Club, dismissed the apology:
‘I know that’s the attitude. That’s why I don’t ever care about the words and the lip service and the apology is cool, but the best apology is actually a black agenda,’ he said. ‘It has to come to the point where we stop putting the burden on black voters and start putting the burden on Democrats to show up for black voters.’
Still, black Biden supporters jumped to his defense. Jonathan Capeheart, a Washington Post columnist, insisted the comment was a joke despite Biden’s apology, while the New York Times’s Nikole Hannah-Jones said in a now-deleted tweet that there is ‘a difference between being politically black and racially black’.
But the Trump campaign and his supporters won’t let Biden forget the remark easily, as it furthers the growing perception that the black community has long been taken advantage of by the Democratic party.