Joe Biden’s St. Patrick’s Day remarks, laden with crude stereotypes about the Irish, have raised eyebrows and prompted concerns over “woke” hypocrisy. Biden, who attended the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon at the Capitol, joked that he is “really not Irish” because he doesn’t drink alcohol and expressed surprise that his distant relatives aren’t “in jail.”
Biden has a history of making similar remarks, calling into question the commitment of “woke” politicians to cultural sensitivity and respect.
President Biden maligns Irish people by suggesting they are drunks with relatives in prison. He makes it clear he’s not of Irish descent. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. https://t.co/WEBsdK76yE
— @amuse (@amuse) March 17, 2023
Critics argue that Biden’s comments perpetuate negative stereotypes, even as he and other progressives claim to champion social justice and inclusivity. While the president has made disparaging comments about his Irish heritage in the past, it is concerning that he continues to do so in the current political climate. For example, at a veterans town hall in December, Biden stated, “I may be Irish, but I’m not stupid,” drawing ire from the online community.
Moreover, the president’s remarks on St. Patrick’s Day come amid increasing pressure from GOP investigators regarding his family’s international business deals and a federal criminal investigation of his son, Hunter Biden. The president’s attempts at humor may not only be seen as inappropriate and culturally insensitive, but they also distract from more pressing issues.
Biden’s comments are particularly glaring given the progressive movement’s focus on promoting tolerance and understanding among diverse communities. Former Obama Defense Secretary Leon Panetta attempted to defend Biden last year by attributing one of his gaffes to his Irish heritage. Still, such explanations only serve to entrench stereotypes further.
In an op-ed for The UK Telegraph, writer Ruth Dudley Edwards criticized Biden as the “world’s worst Catholic,” accusing him of cheapening Irish and Catholic identity. Edwards described Biden as “an appalling Catholic who publicly flouts the church’s most cherished teachings and is about as authentically Irish as a leprechaun hat in a St Patrick’s Day parade.”
It is essential for politicians, especially those who claim to be champions of social justice and inclusivity, to practice what they preach. Unfortunately, by making light of Irish stereotypes, Biden undermines his credibility and raises doubts about the sincerity of the progressive movement’s commitment to cultural sensitivity.