President Joe Biden is facing backlash for yet another racially-tinged remark after he accidentally called a rapper “boy” during an awards dinner on Saturday — where he also mispronounced the rapper’s name.
Biden made the comments during a speech at the Congressional Black Caucus event in Washington, D.C. — where rappers LL Cool J and MC Lyte were being honored with Phoenix Awards.
During the speech, the president mispronounced LL Cool J’s name.
“Two of the great artists of our time representing the groundbreaking legacy of hip hop in America, LL Jay Cool J, uhhh…” Biden stated before trailing off, video footage of the moment shows.
The crowd began to laugh after the awkward moment before Biden continued — making the allegedly offensive remark while trying to compliment the rapper’s physique.
“By the way that boy’s got — that man’s got biceps bigger than my thighs,” Biden said.
BIDEN: "LL J Cool J, uhh, by the way, that boy's got— that man's got biceps bigger than my thighs" pic.twitter.com/ulCQRkEp0l
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 24, 2023
The comment was viewed as racist by many on social media due to its origins in the past. According to an article on racist terms from ThoughtCo, “In most situations, the word ‘boy’ is not a problem. Used to describe a Black man, however, the word is troublesome. That’s because historically, White people routinely described Black men as boys to suggest they weren’t on equal footing with them.”
A case even made it to the U.S. Supreme Court about the term in the past, Ash v. Tyson Foods — where the court agreed that the use of the word “boy” could be deemed racist, though noted that it needed to be examined in the context in which it was spoken. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that “the use of the word ‘boy’ on its own is not enough evidence of racial animus, but that the word is also not benign.”
Many social media users responded to the video of Biden’s comments, deeming him a “racist.” Some even pointed out how the mainstream media would have attacked former President Donald Trump if he had been the one to make the remark.
“We can play this game every day: Imagine the media reaction if Trump ever referred to a Black rapper as ‘boy’ after butchering his name in the manner Biden just did,” author Joe Concha wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
We can play this game every day: Imagine the media reaction if Trump ever referred to a Black rapper as "boy" after butchering his name in the manner Biden just did…https://t.co/GRcSj1GooH pic.twitter.com/1JLbBYFLwo
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 24, 2023