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“He Should Choose a Black Woman”: Biden faces Whitmer setback

“Many black people are angry with her [Whitmer] in this state, ”Rollins told POLITICO, citing his record of Flint’s leading water crisis and education policy, particularly in Detroit.

As Biden prepares to announce his election this week, black women activists and operators have launched an eleven-hour campaign to pressure him. In a couple of open letters Monday and last week, they made the case that he needs strong African-American turnout in swing states like Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to win.

In all of these states, Donald Trump helped become president when a case of black voter growth in 201

6 compared to the 2012 and 2008 elections, when Barack Obama was on the ticket. Unlike Trump, they say, it is probably not enough to justify the large turnout needed to beat him.

Spokesmen for Whitmer and Biden declined to comment. Biden is expected to reveal his running mate before the Democratic National Convention, which begins Aug. 17.

It is not just Whitmer’s record that makes activists and political leaders speak out. They said they are also chramined by the positive press coverage of Whitmer compared to black women on Biden’s shortlist: California Sen. Kamala Harris, Florida Rep. Val Demings, Former Secretary of State Susan Rice, California Rep. Karen Bass and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

“I do not want to bash Whitmer, but I could not stand still while we put these women, these black women, to take all these hits,” Pamela Pugh, the elected vice president of the Michigan State Board of Education, told POLITICO.

The mood was repeated by Flint’s former mayor, Karen Weaver.

“They let black women out there be abused in the media but they protected her. Nobody talks about what was promised in Flint that has not happened, “said Weaver.

In the wake of the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests and Biden’s repeated tripping over race, many activists believed a black woman was a lock to be his running mate until the Whitmer news broke, said Latosha Brown, one of the founders of the Black Voters group. Matter.

Brown said she was flummoxed by Whitmer’s late considerations because a black woman would do a better job of turning African American voters, even in Michigan.

“If he chooses the governor of Michigan, she may not be able to move the black vote for him because many people are upset with her,” Brown said.

“At the end of the day, if Joe Biden can not get the white Midwestern vote, then we’re all up in the fucking brook,” she said. “The whole point of black people voting for him is that he should deliver white people. If he can not cast the white Midwestern vote, like what the hell did we vote for you? “

Jotaka Eaddy, who helped pencil the August 5 letter urging Biden to choose a black woman, pointed out that an African-American running buddy would also help with progressive whites and young and millennial voters.

“This will drive the base that will produce a widespread demographic,” Eaddy said. “It’s not about black voters sitting at home. It’s about the intensity and energy required to secure the White House. ”

Glynda Carr, co-founder of Higher Heights, a group for black women, said that Biden could destroy the otherwise positive coverage of a running buddy by not choosing a woman in color. Most recently Tammy Duckworth in Illinois and most recently Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham are the only other women on Biden’s list who identify as neither black nor white.

“If he does not choose a black woman, it will be a difficult day for” VP nominees, “Carr said. “There will be a lot of excitement, people ask, ‘Why not?'”

Karen Finney, a veteran of Bill Clinton’s White House and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, said Biden will pay a steep price if he chooses Whitmer. It is not personal to the Michigan governor, she said, but black women have worked too hard and long for the Democratic Party to get over. African-American female voters drove Biden’s victory in the South Carolina primary, a win that revived his campaign and put him on the road to nomination.

“The Whitmer news reminded people that we must continue to be true, not just to repel the attacks but to make it clear that the backlash, if he does not choose a black woman, will be difficult,” Finney said.

Angela Rye, a top activist in Black Lives Matter and the former attorney general of the Black Caucus Congress, said the agitation is under construction.

“I’m at a fever level, a boiling point for this,” Rye said.

Rye quoted a Sunday editorial by Pugh in the online publication Black Star News, which presented two major critics of Whitmer, regarding water policy in Flint and education policy affecting Detroit.

First, Pugh and others say, Whitmer undercut promises to clean up lead-poisoned water in the majority black city of Flint. And Whitmer originally fought for a mood that was especially important to black people in Detroit “seeking a basic right to literacy, classrooms with books and teachers, and school buildings without heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer,” Pugh wrote.

“There is not enough ‘there’ there, first and foremost when you compare Whitmer with these qualified women, which we unfortunately have to do,” Pugh told POLITICO.

A Whitmer spokesman responded to Pugh’s criticism by noting that the city of Flint is responsible for pipe replacement, that its water quality is “well within federal test requirements” and that “bottled water is available and currently provided by the city’s residents of Creep.”

But Rye said the governor’s statement did not cut it.

“Gretchen Whitmer, I do not know her,” Rye adds. “But here’s what I know: Flint still does not have clean water, and it was a campaign promise about hers,” Rye said. “In a climate where we experienced George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor and Elijah McLean and everyone else who has never even had a hashtag, how do you justify that choice?”

Biden defender, who does not want to publicly shoot back at the coalition of black female advocates, points out that he has committed to nominate the first black woman to the US Supreme Court. They also note that if Whitmer is elected, Michigan Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II would be the first African-American governor in the state.

But it’s a bit of consolation for those who want a black woman for VP, an issue that has gained extra weight in Biden’s selection process due to his long age, 77.

One of Whitmer’s biggest boosters in the state, Michigan Democratic Party President Lavora Barnes, who is African American, could not be reached for comment.

Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of the BlackPAC political group, said Whitmer’s concerns were “fully justified.” But she hinted that she thought a Whitmer election was unlikely because it would be such a bad idea.

“I think the Whitmer leak was a red herring,” Shropshire said in a text message. “It’s hard to imagine that with four top-level black women leaders, all of whom are not only uniquely qualified to be vice president but president, the Biden campaign would come out of this process saying ‘yes, none of the black women met ours. criteria. ‘ They would have a lot of explanatory to do and very little time to do it. “

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