Politics

Fmr. Va. Gov. Douglas Wilder to Biden: ‘Slavery is nothing to joke about’

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On the Wednesday broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” former Democratic Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder told Vice President Joe Biden: “Slavery is nothing to joke about.”

Wilder, who was the first black American governor since Reconstruction, referred to Biden’s remarks on Tuesday from Danville, Va., calling the rhetoric divisive.

“Well, first of all it is divisive and certainly uncalled for,” Wilder said. “I don’t think the Obama administration needs that at this time. And, as you know, I have not been the most strong supporter of Joe Biden. And yet, we all know he’s gaffe-prone. But when you make a statement that says ‘They are going to put y’all back in chains,’ which means ‘I’m OK — not going to happen to me.’”

Wilder suggested that at some point, the Obama campaign and his apologists have to question just how much more of Biden’s gaffe they can withstand before it interferes with Obama’s mission.

“We’ll work through it, but ‘y’all’ would be in chains,” Wilder continued. “Slavery is nothing to joke about. And the history of this nation’s involvement with slavery is nothing to pass off in a joke. And so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt by saying, ‘Well, he didn’t mean all of it,’ and his apologists are already out there saying it. But you can’t continue to make gaffe after gaffe after gaffe and believe that it’s going to be supportive of what you and the president are trying to do.”

Cavuto suggested this could be an indication that Biden would be replaced with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But Wilder doubted that would happen. He said the more important point was not to divide the country.

“[S]o the more important thing is don’t divide the country,” Wilder said. “We are not African Americans. We are Americans. We are not subjects that, who finally understand what the circumstances are. People will measure up and that’s why you need to reach out and talk to people as adults. Speak to them as equals — not ‘they’ are going to put ‘y’all’ back in chains. So that means you are separating yourself from y’all.”

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