It was at the time, and for several years after, considered a gaffe, if not actually racist. But that was then, and in the presidential campaign of 2020, candidate Biden more than made amends: he pledged that his first nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court would be a black woman. It didn't matter, among black leaders, voters, or the mainstream media, who that individual would be or what she were to believe about anything substantive.
Nonetheless, Biden had made a gesture, the undergirding of racial politics. He also made vague promises on issues that would disproportionately affect blacks. However, his promise on a Supreme Court nominee was clear, specific, and much more widely publicized than anything else he inferred about race.
Chip Roy did the same on Wednesday. He made a gesture which, in an of itself, is nothing more. Nevertheless, that is how much of politics on the national level is today, in which symbolism typically dominates substance.