LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter; Tiffany D. Cross, political analyst and author; Brittany Packnett Cunningham, activist, educator and writer; Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Global Network and host of the podcast â€œLady Donâ€™t Take Noâ€; Sunny Hostin, lawyer, author and co-host of â€œThe Viewâ€; Angela Rye, commentator and political strategist; and Amanda Seales, comedian, author and creator of â€œSmart Funny & Black” write in Washington Post
Opinions:Â Black women are miracle workers. We have been the Democratsâ€™ most reliable voting bloc since passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Most recently, we resurrected Joe Bidenâ€™s campaign. This year is no different: Bidenâ€™s only path to victory is through black women and the voters we know how to energize. Though we have propped up the Democratic Party for decades, the return on our investment in the party might as well read, â€œinsufficient funds.â€
Those days are over. We are here to collect. Very simply, Vice President Biden: You owe us, you need us and you must not take our votes for granted â€” they must be earned. To earn the engagement, excitement and, most importantly, the votes you need, we believe many black voters need the following commitments:
America Needs a Black Woman as Vice President.
- Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, does not need help winning white, working-class voters â€” he serves that function himself. A choice such as Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), who failed to prosecute controversial police killings and is responsible for the imprisonment of Myon Burrell, will only alienate black voters. These are the same voters who may be forced this fall to take personal risks to line up and vote in many states, especially where Republican efforts to suppress mail-in voting are successful. This is a lot to ask amid a coronavirus pandemic that is disproportionately more deadly to black people.
America Needs A Black Woman Supreme Court Justice.
- While we credit Biden for pledging to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court, he must do more. His apology to Anita Hill came late and fell flat. Of the 114 justices who have served on our highest court, no black woman has ever been nominated, despite there being many talented and qualified candidates. The Supreme Court is poised in coming terms to make crucial decisions on such issues as mass incarceration and voting rights. The black communityâ€™s needs must be fully represented on the bench if a seat becomes available.
America Needs a Comprehensive Black Agenda.
- The rules are rigged against our communities. From repairing shredded safety nets to ending widening wealth gaps. Whether we are talking about Ahmaud Arbery being killed by vigilantes or Breonna Taylor, a Louisville EMT being killed by police, we deserve solutions that address systemic domestic terrorism and deep seated racial injustice. At a minimum, Biden must apologize for and enact policy to repair the damage done by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 that established mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act that created the crack-cocaine sentencing disparity, and, of course, the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. He says that he knows better now, but he must do better.