News and Commentary

Princeton Prof Gets Biblical Praising Biden, Blames Trump Supporters’ ‘Selfishness’ For Covid Deaths
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. speaks onstage during Morehouse College 32nd Annual "A Candle In The Dark" Gala at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on February 15, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Speaking about President Joe Biden holding a moment of silence for the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, Princeton professor and MSNBC guest Eddie S. Glaude Jr. invoked a description of God from Psalm 147: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” The professor also cited what he described as the “selfishness” and “greed” of Trump supporters in lamenting the death toll of the coronavirus.

Prior to his biblical characterization of Biden’s inauguration, Glaude, who is the Chair of the Center for African American Studies and the Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, characterized the last four years as marked by “selfishness,” asserting, “The selfishness that has kind of suffocated the land was held at arms length for a moment. We’ve needed a national ritual to mourn so that we can think about the morning.”

“And for a moment, just listening to the words of and the song and singing, the lights, President Joe Biden and Vice President Harris pulled the grief and regret out of the privacy of our hearts, if just for a moment so that we all could share it,” he continued reverently. “Cardinal Gregory put it powerfully: sorrow unites us. You know? We needed this ritual because the dead weren’t settled. People didn’t die right, Nicolle. And coming out of my tradition, when folk don’t die right they haunt.”

“So I’m thinking of Charlie, when he would slice that golf ball and cuss at the top of his lungs, or sit down and smoke cigars and talk about how bad we played and how good (sic) we would play the next round,” he said. “The thing about all of those folks who, just for the moment, the nation shared their grief. Oh what a first step, what a beautiful step. So I’m gonna — I’m reminded of the Psalmist, you know? ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ Maybe the [dead] will speak to us now, maybe they can rest.”

Pslam 147 begins, “Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.  He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

Glaude also targeted the 75 million people who voted for Trump, suggesting they were motivated by “selfishness” and “greed” and implicitly blaming them for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died from the coronavirus:

You know, we’re at a crossroads as a nation, and you know, Brian, it’s easy for us to place all of the blame on Donald Trump. He makes it easy for us, you know? He does. But there were 75, 74-plus million people who voted for him. Selfishness, greed, you know, they run rampant across the land, but, you know, there’s something that President-elect Joe Biden said: “To heal is to remember. To heal is to remember.”

So not only do we have to remember our dead, we have to remember what brought us to this moment, what got us here. And it’s not just Donald Trump. It’s not just him. And that honesty will help us walk the path that we need to walk, I hope.

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