More than 100 prominent black male leaders sent a petition to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden telling him that he "has" to name a black woman as his running mate for the 2020 election.
The letter, signed by producer Sean "Diddy" Combs, radio host Charlamagne tha God, Nick Cannon, Michael Eric Dyson, and others, warns Biden that if he does not pick a black woman as his running mate, he will lose to President Trump.
"Failing to select a Black woman in 2020 means you will lose the election," the letter said. "We don't want to choose between the lesser of two evils and we don't want to vote for the devil we know versus the devil we don't, because we are tired of voting for devils — period."
Biden, who is counting on overwhelming support from the black community, has raised eyebrows in recent weeks with two racially-charged remarks. He told Charlamagne tha God in May that a black person who does not know whether to vote for him "ain't black." Then just last week, Biden said that black Americans were not as diverse as Latino Americans.
The letter's signatories believe that selecting a black woman as his vice president would help quell those concerns, as well as help reshape Biden's "tough on crime" legacy from previous decades, which black leaders see as counterproductive in the black community.
The letter also defended Kamala Harris amid reports that the California senator is seen by Biden advisers as overly ambitious and therefore potentially disloyal.