Good grief, as if our standing in the world isn’t at an all time low, now Vice President Joe Biden is traveling abroad. The gaffe-master is visiting India, and people are already wondering if he will make fun of the PM’s accent. Let’s hope he doesn’t mention 7-11 stores. He will be meeting with India’s Prime Minister and President.
While the impetus for this trip involve some very weighty matters, Biden has a less than stellar reputation among Indians. At least twice in the past, he has openly insulted Indian people by mocking the way they speak. In July 2006, as speculation grew that Biden would mount a presidential bid in 2008, Biden remarked that “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking,” a reference to the large number of Indian immigrants who work in convenience stores in the U.S. He prefaced that comment, by noting that he had a “great relationship” with Indian-Americans and that in his home state of Delaware, “the largest growth in population [comprises] Indian-Americans moving from India.”
The comment sparked some outrage and ridicule although it appeared to be divided by party loyalties. Soon afterward, Dr. Raghavendra Vijayanagar, chairman of the Indian-Americans Republican Council (IARC), told the Press Trust of India that Biden had a history of making such insensitive and inappropriate remarks. ”But even for him, this recent gaffe is clearly over-the-top,” he said. “But this isn’t the first time a Senate Democrat has insulted Indian-Americans,” citing the time in 2004 when then-Sen. John Kerry referred to Sikhs as “terrorists” and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton referred to Mahatma Gandhi as a “gas station owner.” (Read More, but beware the auto-play videos.)
These are the Democrats’ best and brightest, who the American people continue to vote for. Lord help us.