Before Joe Biden’s famously disgusting reference to slavery in 49 percent black Danville, VA – the “they gonna put ya’ll back in chains” line – Rev. William Avon Keen gave an invocation. Now, the pastor is under fire – and he’s defending Biden. “He was giving the African American community and the poor people a warning that if we’re not careful and do not vote properly what could happen. That these chains could be placed back on us that President Obama had lifted off us by the bailouts and saving GM,” he said.
It’s fascinating to note that even Keen’s defense recognizes that Biden was directing his words at the African-American community. Biden’s defense thus far has stated that it was a non-racial phrase and a non-racial message; Keen lets slip that Biden was talking to the black folks in the crowd in particular. To use “chains” references in the former Confederate capital while speaking to a largely black crowd is more than stupid – it’s nefarious, a significant dog whistle.