Why Joe Biden is the best candidate for black voters across the country

Why Joe Biden is the best candidate for black voters across the country
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Too much is at stake in the 2020 presidential election for black women, or women anywhere, to stay home instead of going to the polls. We are powerful, and there is power in our vote. When women decided in Alabama that they could not allow Republican Roy Moore to become a senator, they helped to elect Democrat Doug Jones instead.

They need to do the same next year and make Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE a one term president. At a time in our country when the morality and leadership at the White House has failed to meet any standard we expect, I cannot sit by and watch someone be reelected who has not moved our country forward, who has done harm to our standing in the world, and who has fanned the terrible flames of racism and white supremacy.

I was raised at a time when racial injustice was normalized, hatred for my skin color ruled the day, and we were not afforded the same rights as our white counterparts. Thankfully, I was blessed to have had two parents who did everything in their power to shield me from the ugliness of racism, and they were successful. I was not exposed to the same injustices that my fellow black brothers and sisters were forced to endure.

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I was part of a military family, traveling and living in Europe, receiving my education from fully integrated schools at home and abroad. I truly did not come face to face with segregation and racism until I moved back to Georgia as an adult, and what a shock that was. I was unfamiliar with the notion that black people were second class citizens to those still gripped by memories of Jim Crow. Disturbingly, I hear the same sentiments of bigotry that rock me to my core stemming from this president.

I have lost count of how many times I have turned on the television and seen our commander in chief attacking women women of color like award winning journalist April Ryan, or telling broadcast reporter Abby Philips that her questions were stupid. Let us also not forget that, more recently, Trump told four freshmen women of color in Congress to go back where they came from. I think there is an obvious common theme here that he demonizes minorities and seeks to paint them as the other.

I have dedicated my life to working for civil rights, social justice, and equality. The cultural shock I previously described was my foray into politics. It sparked something inside me that later fueled me to become heavily involved in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, to run for office in my hometown, and to serve as a public servant in a position that I have held for almost three decades.

We need as many people possible in this fight, and Joe BidenJoe BidenBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination Meghan McCain to Joy Behar: 'You guys have done a piss-poor job of convincing me that I should vote for a Democrat' MORE has proven to be a trusted ally through and through. He calls out injustice regardless of creed, gender, or religious background. At a time when people feel emboldened by hate, Biden has been a consistent voice condemning the divisive rhetoric that has polarized this nation the last three years. He is the best candidate to stand up for not some of us but for all of us.

Biden is today, and has been throughout his career, one of the strongest and most powerful voices for civil rights. In 1982, when he was a senator, Biden played a key role in the extension of the Voting Rights Act. As vice president, he played a role in the Obama administration commuting more than 1,700 sentences and enacting reforms that have helped to reduce the federal prison population by more than 38,000 people. During the 2018 midterm elections, Biden was a fierce voice against the blatant assault on the access to voting among many African Americans.

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Biden acknowledges that racism has “been built into every aspect of our system” and that “most of us whites do not like to acknowledge even exists.” This underscores that he understands the plight of black citizens and the fact that we desperately need a president with the empathy, compassion, and insight to implement policies that will give our disenfranchised black communities a pathway to the middle class.

Martin Luther King, along with our parents, grandparents, uncles, cousins, neighbors, and so many great leaders before us, fought for our right to vote in this great country. It is our duty to let each one of our voices be unapologetically heard at the ballot box next year and to elect Biden, who has stood by us all this time and will continue to do so in the future.

Vivian Bishop is a longtime municipal court clerk in Georgia and was the first African American to serve as the president of the Congressional Club.