Color Of Change PAC: Congratulates First Black Woman To Be Included On A Major Party Ticket
Biden and Harris must detail how they will undo the tremendous harms the Trump administration is doing to Black people and share a clear vision of equity and justice
Rashad Robinson, Spokesperson for Color Of Change PAC, issued the following statement on the announcement of Senator Kamala Harris as Vice President Biden’s running mate. Rashad Robinson is available for interviews upon request:
We congratulate Senator Kamala Harris for being named Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate on the democratic ticket for the 2020 election. This is a historic moment as Senator Harris is the first Black woman to be on a major party’s ticket in the history of our country. We have appreciated the opportunity to work with Senator Harris on a wide range of issues over the years, and we look forward to talking more directly with Vice President Biden and Senator Harris through the remainder of the race to elevate the most pressing issues facing Black communities. We expect to continue doing the work of pushing and holding Biden and Harris accountable to our communities.
In this election, which will depend on Black voters more than ever, this is a moment to celebrate progress while being realistic about the level of accountability to Black communities that will be needed to win the election. Over the next few months, they must share a vision of equity and justice that shines the harshest light on Trump’s unending racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and lawlessness.
This announcement signals progress for our nation, as Senator Harris is one of a select few female vice presidential candidates in history and one of only a few Black women to ever run. The decision to bring a woman onto the ticket does not go unnoticed, and could very well result in our nation’s first woman Vice President, giving Harris the unique opportunity to lift the voices of women of color nationwide. We are confident in her ability to support Biden’s journey to the White House, but remain vigilant in holding Biden and his entire cabinet accountable to the needs of Black voters.
Harris has displayed a strong history of commitment to our community. In this time of unprecedented crisis, as civil rights are challenged and Black people are hit hard on every front, it is imperative that Biden and Harris maintain a level of awareness of the many challenges facing Black voters. Biden and his representatives must readily listen to the concerns of Black women, and incorporate their voices into policy decisions that often unequivocally impact them. Biden should look to hold corporations accountable for their trespasses which, far too often, unfold at the expense of Black working class individuals.
The past few months have been excruciating for Black people, facing multiple crises at once, losing loved ones in the pandemic and at the hands of the police, and seeing their livelihoods ruined in the most crushing economic downturn of our lifetimes, all while Trump stokes the flames of racism and violence. The choice between Trump and Biden is not a choice at all, but this fact won’t get Biden over the finish line, or guarantee his success if elected.
Whether it be Biden’s choice for vice president, his Supreme Court appointee, or his first hundred days in office, the true signs of progress will be the bills that Biden signs into law – the administration’s policy priorities and their implementation.
The model for an outstanding vice president continues to be someone who will support the movement for racial justice and healing in our country and assist a new administration in thinking through how to best deliver on their promises on an accelerated timeline. This is crucial. A vice president whose main purpose is to excuse a slow pace of change, or argue against the structural changes in this country’s culture and economy that we all know we need to make, will risk failure. Today, we should take a moment to celebrate a historic choice, but tomorrow, we must continue fighting for our future.
But, Biden and Harris must recognize that the symbolism behind their partnership is not enough to persuade voters, and they should not expect unequivocal support. We expect Biden and Harris to consistently build a case for how they will fight for equity and justice and undo the tremendous harm the Trump administration has done to Black people.
Structural racism and inequality are deep-rooted in every aspect of our society especially during the coronavirus pandemic, from our criminal justice systems, to the healthcare disparities we experience, and have become particularly evident in this moment. The need for Biden and Harris to fight these big picture issues head-on is not just a demand, but a necessity.
Biden should lead the Democratic establishment towards the understanding that Black voters are not a monolith, and should not be treated as such; the Black voting bloc consist of an array of identities, including women, men, LGBTQ+ folks, individuals with disabilities, and young and old voters alike, all with their own set of unique concerns that ought to be heard.
While we are united in the battle to beat Trump, the most destructive president in modern history, we expect to hear over the next few months how both Biden and Harris will rise to this unique occasion. They must communicate their vision to transform America into a more equitable and just nation, and share in clear terms their plans for policies specifically geared towards the same Black voting bloc that has ensured Biden’s electoral advancement thus far.
Color Of Change PAC is a Political Action Committee focused on building independent Black political power, amplifying Black voices, electing candidates who share our values, and holding them accountable to our communities. For more information on Color Of Change PAC, visit votingwhileblack.com.