The Root's Michael Harriot Explains Why Biden Needs a Black Woman as VP

There is an interesting political conversation going on that was prompted by someone who few people expected to have any political input on the 2020 electionThe Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God.

Moving past Joe Biden’s recent “you ain’t black” statement,” MSNBC’s Joy Reid invited me to speak on whether Joe Biden needed a black female VP and, more specifically, whether black voters have the leverage to make demands of the Democratic Party or if they should be content with just removing Trump from office.


Although opinions have been split on the issue, I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive. The truth may be that the only way to ensure Trump is ousted from office is to inspire black turnout by finally rewarding black voters with tangible policies that include a real black agenda.

Check out the clip from AM Joy above.

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Hot take time: Now that I think about it, since black people vote overwhelming for the Democratic Party as a whole, I’m thinking he may actually need a competent, non-threatening white woman for his VP choice. For policy’s sake, absolutely a black woman makes the most sense. But to appeal to the largest swing voter bloc in the country, he may need someone palatable to them (the “Midwestern nice” and the fencesitting women who vote in lockstep with their boyfriends/husbands) and their ilk. I think white women would only vote for a black person if they found them attractive (fetishizing the ebony theory).

Counterpoint: Yes, I saw how they did Hilary Rodham and more pointedly Elizabeth Warren and the previous statement doesn’t hold water.

Either way, it’s not an ideal situation to be in.