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Updated on August 17, 2012

Did it mean because it came from the vice-president?

Vice-president Joe Biden's "put y'all back in chains," statement has taken center stage on the 2012 presidential election campaign trail. It (statement) has taken on its own personality, and that meant that important issues were being shoved aside for all kinds of people to comment, agree or condemn the statement; and for what, no one could tell for sure.

He, Biden, has been pitted against the first African American governor of Virginia, Gov. Douglas Wilder, with headlines like, "...America's first black governor lambastes Joe Biden," or "WH blows off first black governor's rebuke of Joe Biden," appearing everywhere in the media. Did the media have that amount of free time to spare on inconsequential things?

President Barack Obama has defended his vice-president's comment; but he was coming from the basic and actual meaning, and the point of view of that comment by saying, “you, consumers, the American people, will be a lot worse off if we repeal these [Wall Street reform] laws as the other side is suggesting.” (Obama, Washington Times, 8/17/12).

He knew that race was not intended in the "chains" comment; and besides, it was made off the cuff, and therefore the attack on Biden was a waste of precious time.

The president was right, because issues upon issues were waiting to have attention, with a high unemployment rate of 8.3% forcefully kneeling on all the efforts that he and the Democrats were making to put millions of Americans back to work.

Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan were making accusations of the Obama administration "raiding" Medicare to provide funds for the president's Affordable Care Act, which they have dubbed "Obamacare".

Raiding? That should be a stronger term to attract media attention than "put y'all back in chains," which was for most part a joke by the vice-president to emphasize a point apropos to his subject matter, the "unleash of Wall Street," on the American public, in terms of having no constraints on the many dishonest dealings that went on there.

It all boiled down to the fact that measures, strict enough to control the financial sector for the economy to function properly, have to be in place at all times. That was the specific theme and objective of Biden.

However, the main plan of the Republican pair would be to remove those regulations and thus leave "the free market" unprotected, and so, for big banks and corporations to do as they wished to the detriment of the economy.

That should be the perspective Biden's attackers should have, instead of swallowing his statement "line, hook and sinker", and making unnecessary remarks on it (statement). The fact was that Biden's statement did not have a ting of racial connotation in it.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, has said that he made "absolutely nothing" of Biden's comments.

"I would never have even paid much attention to it but for the fact that campaigns nowadays are waiting for any kind of little nugget to try to create an atmosphere of more and more discord," Chairman Cleaver had said. (Washington Times, 8/17/12).

That was a far better approach to take in dealing with a trivial matter that brought nothing good to the political discourse. Americans were fed up with divisiveness; and instead, they wanted common sense to prevail in the political arena, to unite than to divide them.

Biden's gaffe should be treated as such; a gaffe, and nothing more.


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