Low gas prices. Cheap airfare. No summer school even for bad students.
As the ironies of life continue to reveal themselves in 2020, one of the year’s greatest examples could be spawned from Joe Biden‘s now-infamous “you ain’t Black” interview with Charlamagne Tha God on Friday.
It was reported last week that the presumptive Democratic nominee was vetting Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer while he considers who should be his vice-presidential running mate. But after Biden [jokingly?] questioned voters’ Blackness if they didn’t support him on Election Day, it may be in his best interest to only consider Black running mates as a way to repair any harm done by his misguided comment.
The combination of Biden being publicly shamed from all sides and the scrutiny of Klobuchar could lead to a Black vice-presidential candidate (the first in history) following rumors he was shying away from making such a decision.
Despite pressure, Biden previously made it known that he would not commit to picking a woman of color. But after he stuck his foot in a mouth that dared to challenge Black voters’ collective racial consciousness, Biden may not have any other choice than to select a Black woman to be his running mate.
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Klobuchar was scrambling to fix her broken relationship with Black people. Picking Klobuchar could be seen as a slap in the face to voters who have been demanding Biden pick a Black woman for his running mate. She doesn’t have the best track record on the topic of race, as shown by Myon Burrell, a Black man serving a life sentence for murder who claims that then-prosecutor Klobuchar “gave the police free rein and just said, ‘bring me back a conviction, secure me a conviction’ and that’s what they did, by any means necessary.”
She the People, a women’s group that advocates for diversity in politics, demanded last week days before Biden’s fateful radio interview that choosing Klobuchar “risks losing the very base the Democrats need to win, most centrally women of color, and could be a fatal blow to the Democrats’ chance to win the White House.”
Do Democrats really want two people (Biden and Klobuchar) trying to repair their statuses with Black America leading a presidential ticket against someone who also needs to repair his status with Black people?
That question paves the way for Biden to choose Kamala Harris or Florida Rep. Val Demings, the latter of whom was also reportedly being vetted. Stacey Abrams’ name has seemingly fallen off of the list of VP front-runners, but she may be his best choice since she doesn’t have the same prosecutorial baggage that Harris and Klobuchar do and Demings doesn’t necessarily have that same kind of name recognition that the others enjoy.
With that said, Harris has been visibly active in all aspects of government since suspending her own presidential campaign, first focusing on Trump’s impeachment before leading the legislative fight for justice as the coronavirus ravages Black communities across the country. She has also been a loud and agitating voice decrying the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, two cases that are personal for Black people in America. Those virtues could also push her past the VP sweepstakes’ finish line.
That would also help convince Black voters that Biden has them in mind when selecting his running mate. Many Black voters sat out the 2016 election. That much is undeniable. And while it’s doubtful that will happen this time around thanks in no small part to Donald Trump, Black voters’ support for Biden was never a given despite polling support that shows otherwise. That was especially true following last week’s debacle of an interview.
In the end, Biden’s words to Charlamagne Tha God have left him with fewer choices for VP than he had before the fateful interview on Friday. That should bode well for the Black women seeking to be his running mate.