A group of over 100 prominent Black male leaders across various fields including sports, entertainment, religion, academia, social justice and politics, have written an open letter to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, urging him to select a Black woman as his running mate in the 2020 elections.
The letter, which was signed by the likes of Sean “Diddy” Combs, basketball star Chris Paul, attorney Ben Crump, University of Virginia medical school dean Marcus Martin, Nick Cannon, among others, is to stand in solidarity with the over 700 Black women leaders who also signed an open letter in April urging Biden to pick a Black female VP. According to the male leaders in the Monday letter, Biden will lose the 2020 elections if he fails to select Black female.
Biden, who pledged to pick a female VP months back, is expected to announce his running mate this week. The likes of Sen. Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Susan Rice, California Rep. Karen Bass and Florida Rep. Val Demings are rumored to be in the mix.
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In the letter, the group registered their displeasure with the way Black females – including Kamala Harris – were being vetted in the VP process, saying they were being “unfairly criticized and scrutinized.” In July, POLITICO reported Sen. Chris Dodd, a member of Biden’s vice presidential search committee, rebuked Harris for not apologizing to Biden after calling out his civil rights record during the first Democratic primary debate, saying: “She laughed and said, ‘that’s politics.’ She had no remorse.”
A group of Biden’s allies, including some of his prominent donors, also reportedly labeled the California Senator as being too ambitious and may focus too much on becoming president if she is picked, according to CNBC.
“Was Joe Biden ever labeled ‘too ambitious’ because he ran for president three times,” the group asked in the letter. “Should President Obama not have made him the VP because he had to worry about his ‘loyalty’ when he clearly had AMBITIONS to be president himself? Why does Senator Kamala Harris have to show remorse for questioning Biden’s previous stance on integrated busing during a democratic primary debate?”
The letter also criticized Biden’s previous policies that largely affected African American communities, asking if he has ever been held accountable.
“Have Democratic Party leaders, allies, or donors ever required Joe Biden to show remorse for the 1986 or 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse bills, which established mandatory minimum sentencing and subsequently crack cocaine sentencing disparities, and by his own admission, led to mass incarceration? What about the 1994 Crime Bill,” the letter read.
“Let’s be clear about the kind of remorse and reckoning that matters in 2020 when the Black community is still suffering the consequences for these oppressive measures. So, Black women are the only ones required to stay in their place and to show remorse for even questioning their own oppression?”
The letter continued: “For too long Black women have been asked to do everything from rally the troops to risk their lives for the Democratic Party with no acknowledgment, no respect, no visibility, and certainly not enough support.”
“Failing to select a Black woman in 2020 means you will lose the election,” the letter claimed. “We don’t want to choose between the lesser of two evils and we don’t want to vote for the devil we know versus the devil we don’t because we are tired of voting for devils – period.”