NAACP leader on diversity in Biden's Cabinet and commitment to civil rights
Speech days after the election, Joe Biden think black voters for helping him win the White House. The African American community stood up again. For many with always having my back on, I'll have yours. Now. There's some concern that Biden isn't making good on that promise. At least seven civil rights groups are pressing to meet with the president elect, including the end of the P and the National Urban League. They want Biden to name or black leaders to top jobs in his administration. Marc Morial leads the Urban League mark. Welcome. Hey, it's great to be with you. Thank you for having me. My pleasure. And if and when you get a meeting with the President elect, what will you tell him? So importantly way look forward to a direct communication with the president elect, and we're gonna reaffirm our interest on behalf of the community that the number of Diverse cabinet members, particularly African Americans. Prominent and every level of the body Administration Cabinet sub cabinet. As well as at the White House. You know, we want to give the president elect due credit. He chose an excellent running mate, Senator Harris. He's made an important appointment of Cecilia Rouse, his chair of the president's Council of Economic Advisors, and Linda Thomas Greenfield as U. N ambassador. But we're heavily focused. What's known as a statutory Cabinet, defense and justice and transportation and commerce and labor and hot and education and HHS, For example, that is where The important levers of power are We're going to communicate that to him, and the second thing will be communicating. Eyes our interest in the public policy arena. We need aggressive enforcement of civil rights laws. We need strong investments through both stimulus. And infrastructure plans, and we need Focus on long term issues of racial justice, criminal justice reform, police justice reform just to name a few high priorities and finally With respect to cove it we need to ensure That the vaccine is safe and effective for all people and that there is a community based distribution system. To ensure that people in our community have access to the vaccine. I guess What I'm trying to understand is if you are actually concerned with what you've seen so far, or if you're just trying to get ahead of the process, As you point out, there have been many black officials appointed to keep jobs in the Biden administration says they're not done yet. Yeah, I think it's both. And I think it's uh they've been to statutory Cabinet nominees thus far. Treasury Three rather Treasury homeland security as well as the State Department, and that's important and we do have a concern and we do want to get ahead of the process and We want to be clear that we're looking for a cabinet. When it comes to African Americans and meets but really exceeds the high water marks of the Clinton and Obama cabinets. This is a different time. And the president elect is made of important public commitment to racial justice, and I believe he's serious about that, but toe execute that He's got to have people who have lived experiences. As well as professional qualifications, along with connections to the communities that have borne the brunt of the country's systemic racial injustice. Look, there's no doubt having a diversity of opinions from all walks of life is critical in any leadership role, but make the case why Race matters so much here. Ben Carson. I'm thinking of Ben Carson, a black housing secretary. I assume you don't agree at all with his policies on many black leaders At the same time, we're saying that outgoing Senator Doug Jones, a white man would make a great attorney general because of his record fighting for civil rights. So let me say this. Van Carson is a great doctor. I never thought Ben Carson was qualified. To be secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. I thought he would have made made a great surgeon general. You made a great secretary of health. Human services. I think it was an example of picking a quote unquote black person and putting him in what some perceive to be a black position at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And I think it was It was a mistake, and I think it was a disservice to Ben Carson. So I mean, it's important. Understand this is not just about a black face in a certain place.