During his recent address to the Congressional Black Caucus at its 52nd Annual Legislative Conference, President Biden faced a series of uncomfortable moments, drawing criticism from some quarters. The event aimed to honor rappers LL Cool J and MC Lyte with Phoenix Awards for their contributions to music. However, Biden struggled during his speech, creating several noteworthy issues.
One of the initial missteps occurred when he referred to LL Cool J as “LL Jay Cool J,” which displayed a lack of familiarity with hip-hop culture, leading to awkwardness and laughter from the audience. Biden’s attempt to connect with the genre’s legacy appeared forced and inauthentic.
The situation worsened when he made a remark about LL Cool J’s physical appearance, saying, “That boy — that man’s got biceps bigger than my thighs.” Referring to an African American man as “boy” is historically considered a racial epithet and is offensive when addressing an adult black man.
This isn’t the first time Biden has used the term “boy” when discussing African Americans, raising concerns about racial insensitivity. During the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Senator Cory Booker called out Biden for using the word “boy” while talking about his past associations with segregationist Democrats. Booker emphasized that such language was hurtful and inappropriate.
Biden’s use of the term resurfaced earlier this year when he referred to Governor Wes Moore, Maryland’s first black governor, as “the boy” during a speech in February. In May, he repeated the mistake by addressing a White House guest with “host up, boy.”
These incidents have sparked controversy and reinforced concerns about Biden’s past statements, including his remark during the 2020 campaign when he suggested that not supporting him meant “you ain’t black.” Critics argue that such comments perpetuate stereotypes and demonstrate a lack of sensitivity on racial issues.