By Sean Yoes
AFRO Baltimore Editor
I’m going to make it plain; Joe Biden better not pick Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar as his VP running mate. If he does he risks alienating Black voters like me.
As the debate continues over Biden’s VP pick, a lot of people are uptight about the former vice president’s latest entry in his recurring narrative of race based foot in mouth disease.
Sadly, there isn’t enough space in this column to list all of the past off color transgressions of the man who served under the nation’s first Black president. However, the latest episode happened during an interview last week with popular media personality Charlamagne tha God. Towards the end of the interview Biden quips, “You got more questions? I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”
Of course Biden offered the mandatory (for any politician not named Trump) apology under such circumstances just hours after he made the statement saying, it was “really unfortunate,” and that he “shouldn’t have been such a wise guy.” He went further during a phone call with the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce last week. “I shouldn’t have been so cavalier in responding,” Biden said. “No one should have to vote for any party, based on their race or religion or background.”
As I stated earlier, Biden has a history of making these stupid statements rooted in race. But, to be real about it what do we expect from an elderly White man of privilege, who has spent decades navigating the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.? I hold no outrage over Biden’s comments because I hold no expectation for him to do any better. My only expectation of Joe Biden is that he rid us of the diabolical scourge that currently occupies the White House in November.
It is not an appetizing choice for me Biden versus Trump. Yet, for me at this point the choice is clear; I’ll take the former vice president’s garden variety White supremacy over Trump the heretic all day long.
However, Biden would lose my vote if he selects Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota as his running mate.
Let’s make it plain; Joe Biden was a political dead man walking during the Democratic primary process in February of 2020 speeding towards his third failed presidential run. Then Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest ranking Black politician in the country and a legitimate political king maker endorsed Biden. The former vice president went on to demolish Sen. Bernie Sanders and the rest of the Democratic field in South Carolina and Biden never looked back. But, he better remember where the hell he came from.
Clyburn gave his blessing and delivered the Black vote in South Carolina to Biden, which sparked a primary win streak that cast the former vice president as the man who could accomplish the ultimate goal for Black people, the removal of Donald John Trump from the White House.
To be specific, it was Black women, the strongest and most loyal faction of the Democratic base that saved Biden. For him to pick Klobuchar, a White woman with a dubious record at best on racially charged issues as a prosecutor in Minnesota would be a slap in the face to Black women specifically, and Black people generally.
Don’t do it Joe.
My first choice for VP would be Stacey Abrams of Georgia. My second choice would be Rep. Val Demmings of Florida. I don’t really have a third choice. But, Klobuchar would be a deal breaker.
The often incendiary podcaster Sam Harris once said, well, I can’t really repeat what he said it would have taken for him to vote for Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, in this column (you can Google it though). To that point I will never vote for Donald Trump for anything.
But, if Biden taps Klobuchar I will not vote for him, I’ll keep the box blank. And I think there are millions of other Black people who probably will do the same.
Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and the author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.