The Hill columnist Juan Williams is taking heat on social media after he penned a column online in which he hailed President Joe Biden as “our third Black president.”
Williams, an author and political commentator for Fox News, praised Biden on Monday for “elevating” black people while providing “real help for Black America.”
He began his column by noting that author Toni Morrison “famously labeled Bill Clinton as ‘the first Black president’.”
Barack Obama is “the first actual Black president,” according to Williams, who added that “by Morrison’s standard, President Joe Biden is our nation’s third Black president.”
He cited Biden’s naming Vice President Kamala Harris as his running mate, the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, and naming Lloyd Austin as the first ever African American secretary of defense.
Williams credited Biden for presiding over “the lowest Black unemployment rate on record” as well as a “faster rate of creation of Black-owned small business in the last 25 years.”
Reaction on the X social media site was mixed, with critics offering a scathing take.
“Why would you write something so disrespectful? Are you folks trying to insult and alienate Black Americans!” one X user wrote.
Another X user noted that it was then-Senator Biden (D-Del.) who was one of the sponsors of a 1994 bill that was enacted into law and later blamed for increasing the prison population of African Americans who were convicted of nonviolent crimes.
“The man who authored the crime bill?” one X user wondered.
Last week, Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign announced a $25 million ad blitz aimed at drumming up voter enthusiasm among African Americans and Latinos — two pro-Democrat constituencies that the president needs to turn out in large numbers if he hopes to get another four years in the White House.
Democrats are reportedly panicking in light of surveys showing that voters are increasingly concerned by Biden’s age and mental acuity.
Recent polls have Biden, 80, either trailing or tied with former President Donald Trump, who is the front runner for the GOP nomination.
Long the most loyal Democratic constituency, black voters played a large role in rescuing Biden’s struggling 2020 presidential campaign in the South Carolina primary, and sending him to the White House with Democrats in control of the Senate, thanks to further success in Georgia.
But some Democrats have been disturbed by recent polls showing that black voters are defecting to Republicans.
One in five black people under the age of 50 voted Republican in the 2022 midterms, roughly double the number of their elders, according to a previously unreported analysis of exit polling data by HIT Strategies, a public opinion research firm aligned with Democrats that routinely surveys black Americans.
Black men and women under the age of 50 voted Republican in similar numbers, the poll showed.
Republican Donald Trump’s 12% share of the black vote in 2020 was four percentage points higher than it was in 2016, according to exit polls by Edison Research.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted July 11-17 found 18% of Black Americans would pick Trump over Biden in a hypothetical matchup, compared to 46% who favored Biden, including about one in four black men, compared to about one in seven black women.
Compared with black women, black men were more likely to say they would back a presidential candidate that supported abortion restrictions and increased police funding to fight crime.
With Post Wires