Former President Barack Obama has recorded a new video message on behalf of the Joe Biden presidential campaign. In the message, he calls on black voters in particular to support Biden and, crucially, to vote early in order to avoid any later issues and make sure that their voices are heard. Obama’s video message was set to be released through a website called The Shade Room, which PBS described as “a website that often features celebrity and Black culture news and that interviewed Biden in March and again in June this year.”
In the video message, Obama says:
‘As you know, the election is coming up, and I’ve got just one word for you: vote. Actually, I’ve got two: vote early. Right now, from the White House on down, folks are working to keep people from voting, especially communities of color. That’s because there’s a lot at stake in this election — not just our pandemic response or racial justice, but our democracy itself. So it’s more important than ever to make your voice heard. We can’t leave anything to chance… Now is the time to fight for what we believe in. Let’s go out and win this thing.’
The implication, of course, is that Obama wants folks to vote for Joe Biden specifically — it seems pretty consistently unlikely that anyone would get the opposite takeaway from his remarks. Check out the video message below:
Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, also recorded a video message for a black culture-oriented website. Check her message out below:
Obama has advocated for the Biden campaign in other contexts, and he has also advocated for folks to make their voices heard in the election as promptly as possible. Many voters may be concerned about possible Coronavirus exposure at in-person polling places on Election Day, so mail-in voting has become increasingly relevant. The Trump campaign has fought to restrict absentee/ mail-in voting — in Pennsylvania, for instance, they sued in an attempt to block the usage of drop boxes for mail-in ballots in the state. Currently, those boxes have been allowed to remain. Separately, Pennsylvania Republicans also recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to pause the implementation of a state court ruling allowing the extension of the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots by the state, a move that was meant to compensate for recent mail service slowdowns.
Trump has suggested that he may not accept the election results and ensure a peaceful transfer of power if he loses. A large Biden victory could help insulate the results against Trump’s attacks.
Trump, for his part, has a growing history of racism. He has claimed that Democrats want to “abolish” the suburbs, and although this claim is a brazen lie — Democrats are not going to end single-family home zoning — Trump has claimed that without him in the White House, the suburbs could be “invaded” by low-income housing. Low-income housing is, of course, often associated with marginalized communities like black Americans. Trump’s remarks about the “suburbs” are thinly veiled race-baiting, and this nonsense is what he’s using to try and fuel his path to re-election.