- Biden, 80, referred to rapper LL Cool J as a ‘boy’ after mispronouncing his name at the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday night
- Referring to African Americans as ‘boy’ is widely considered a derogatory term for black men
- Biden has previously found himself in hot water for using the term and this incident comes hot on the heels of a long line of recent speech slip-ups
LL Cool J and MC Lyte received Phoenix Awards for their musical contributions at the annual ceremony in Washington DC.
While on stage, Biden, 80, said: ‘Two of the great artists of our time representing ground-breaking legacy of hip hop in America, LL Jay Cool J, uhhh…’ – as the audience laughed at his latest gaffe over the rapper’s name.
Biden then added: ‘By the way that boy – that man’s got biceps bigger than my thighs.’
The footage of his speech was quickly re-posted by right-wing RNC Research on social media where commentators swiftly pointed out that referring to African Americans as ‘boy’ is widely considered a derogative term.
Joe Biden butchered his speech at the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday night
The 80-year-old president referred to legendary rapper LL Cool J (pictured) as a ‘boy’ after mispronouncing his name
On X, formerly Twitter, one user said: ‘Ohhh god make it stop PLLEASE. He’s making a total mockery of this country’.
Another accused him of being an ‘ignorant racist Democrat’.
This is not the first time the president has found himself in hot water for using the term.
‘You got a hell of a new governor in Wes Moore, I tell ya,’ Biden told members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in February.
‘He’s the real deal, and the boy looked like he could still play. He’s got some guns on him,’ he added.
In May he also raised eyebrows after telling a White House attendee to ‘hush up, boy’ during an event celebrating Islamic holiday Eid-al-Fitr.
The awkward exchange came as the audience member, who is believed to be a Muslim man, interrupted the president as he marked the occasion before a packed crowd.
Biden said: ‘Two of the great artists of our time representing ground-breaking legacy of hip hop in America, LL Jay Cool J, uhhh…’
LL Cool J and MC Lyte received Phoenix Awards for their musical contributions at the annual ceremony in Washington DC
‘You want to come and make a speech?’ Biden responded after he was heckled.
‘Hush up, boy, as my mother would say’ he continued in a mimicked Southern drawl.
In 2019, Biden made a similar slip-up when he told a crowd on the campaign trail that he could work with all people – even those who he did not agree with.
He told how he worked with James Eastland, a Mississippi senator and plantation owner, who was an open white supremacist. Eastland resigned as a senator in 1978 and died in 1986, aged 81.
Biden said that Eastland respected him, declaring: ‘He never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son.”
Senator Cory Booker, who is black, rebuked Biden for downplaying the use of the word ‘boy’ to diminish black men.
Booker, on CNN, said it was inappropriate. ‘You don’t joke about calling black men “boys”,’ he said.
He later added that he’d had a constructive conversation with Biden about his use of the term, adding: ‘This is about him invoking a terrible power dynamic that he showed a lack of understanding or insensitivity to by invoking this idea that he was called ‘son’ by white segregationists who, yeah, they see in him their son.’