During this divisive year of elections, jockeying for votes is evident. Many African American communities will see an increase in interest in their votes.
The “Black vote” has long been sought during general elections, and suppressed at the same time. America has long tried to move the needle to garner the votes of African Americans. The Democratic Party has benefited from a large turnout in registrations and voting by Black constituents. But some in the Black communities only see their representatives when it is general election time, and that will become more problematic as time passes.
As younger voters get more engaged and educated on the political process, they will do more to hold politicians accountable for promises they make. They have more research tools at their hands than previous generations and can communicate with the world within minutes.
Vice President Joe Biden is now vying for the candidacy in the party with the most African American voters. How does he communicate and win over those voters? He has the benefit of being the vice president to one of the most popular African American men in the world, but to younger and educated voters, that is not enough.
During this time of civil unrest, it is important to African Americans that Biden has a “Black agenda.” Questions of importance to many African American voters are: universal police reform, sweeping education reform, economic improvements and investments in black neighborhoods, job creation programs and small business assistance. Unfortunately, many African Americans do not know where Biden stands on many of these issues.
They know former President Obama was a president for the people and gave hope to the Black community. How does Biden give that same hope without being Black? He must not pander. He must have concrete plans and he must communicate them directly to the African American community.
His choice in a vice presidential candidate will go a long way in showing his potential constituents that he is serious and wants their votes, but he must not make a choice to only appease the African American population. For him to win, he must carry the Black vote by over 70%, which I feel he will do, but he will quickly lose support if the Black community doesn’t feel he is genuine.
Biden understands he may be a one-term president, but he is setting up the next generation of leaders to take this country where it needs to go. This country needs to progress. We need innovation, more diversity, and we need to educate our communities.
Selecting a woman vice presidential candidate is a huge step for women’s rights, and I can’t wait to see the day when we have a woman president.
The vice presidency is important, but what is just as important to many African Americans is his cabinet choices.
His attorney general pick will be one of the most important decisions he can make, and many will look to Biden and this pick to provide changes in the police forces that can make a great and safe America for everyone.
Another area of interest to African Americans is how Biden will handle the economy. Most Americans want a booming economy that works for us all. Black Americans want to gain wealth and live the American dream, and it will be important for Biden to not demonize the financial markets and successful Americans.
He must communicate to African Americans how he can create the biggest boom in Black wealth in the history of this country.
Biden can win the Black vote, but he must earn the Black support.
Corey Carolina is columnist, author, activist and entrepreneur from North Tulsa.