This week, Joe Biden responded directly to the tragedies we saw unfold in Kenosha:
“These shots pierce the soul of our nation. Jill and I pray for Jacob’s recovery and for his children.
“Equal justice has not been real for Black Americans and so many others. We are at an inflection point. We must dismantle systemic racism. It is the urgent task before us. We must fight to honor the ideals laid in the original American promise, which we are yet to attain: That all men and women are created equal, but more importantly that they must be treated equally.”
Vice President Biden also released a video where he urged against “needless violence” and emphasized the importance of coming together to heal and demand justice:
CNN reported that Vice President Biden and Senator Harris spoke with Jacob Blake’s family and comforted them as they dealt with the trauma after the shooting. Blake’s father said Biden “identifies with what I’m going through”:
The father of Jacob Blake said Friday that his hour-long conversation earlier this week with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris was akin to “speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters.”
“They were so comforting that you almost forgot how the situation was really playing out,” Jacob Blake Sr. told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day,” referring to Biden and Harris. “It was like I was speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters — literally, literally.”
“Biden kept telling me his own issues with his family. That he identifies with what I’m going through. I didn’t have to keep telling him. He knew. It felt like he knew,” Blake added. “It felt like they knew what was going on. And they didn’t act like they were in a hurry to go anywhere. They spent time with us. And the tears that came from (Jacob Blake’s) mother in this talk with the Bidens, that was important.”
Asked if President Donald Trump has tried to reach out to his family, Jacob Blake Sr. replied: “That’s a negative.”
While Donald Trump and his allies continue to root for more violence, Joe Biden slammed Donald Trump for his failure of leadership and divisive rhetoric. Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“I think he views it as a political benefit,” Biden said.
The former vice president made reference to an earlier interview that presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway gave to Fox News in which she said, “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.”
“When has a spokesperson for the president ever said something like that, ever,” Biden said.
Biden added that Trump “just keeps pouring fuel on the fire. He’s encouraging this. He’s not diminishing it at all. This is his America now.”
Biden for President also launched the national “Shop Talk” program with a Wisconsin event including the campaign’s National Co-Chair Congressman Cedric Richmond, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, Bakari Sellers, Actor Terrence J, producer Jermaine Dupri, and Wisconsin community leaders. Hosted from Gee’s Clippers, a staple in the Milwaukee community, leaders focused on issues impacting Black men in Wisconsin, including the police shooting of Jacob Blake and the impact it has had in Kenosha and across the country. Leaders also highlighted Joe Biden’s “Lift Every Voice” Plan for Black America, which would tackle systemic racism and advance the economic mobility of Black Americans.
At the event, Senator Kamala Harris delivered remarks after she and Joe Biden spoke with Jacob Blake’s family:
“We are all praying for Wisconsin, and for the Blake family…as Joe Biden put, the shots fired at Jacob Blake pierced the soul of our nation…We all know too well that Jacob is not alone. Black men in our communities and all across the country are fighting for their lives everyday…we need energy, urgency and leadership. We need drastic change and we need reform,” said Senator Kamala Harris.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris kicked off a Biden campaign roundtable focusing on the Black community in Wisconsin by pledging she and Dem presidential nominee Joe Biden will take “meaningful hard-fought action against systems and traditions of oppression.”
The Dem vice presidential nominee touched on the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, quoting her running mate in saying the incident “pierced the soul of our nation.”
She said the incident was all too familiar to so many Black families and said “we need more than thoughts and prayers.”
“We need drastic change and we need reform, not just for Jacob or Breonna or George, but for everyone who feels under assault by their own government and police,” said Harris, D-Calif.
Harris noted that Black men in Wisconsin face among the highest incarceration rates, lowest graduation rates, largest wealth gaps, and most disproportionate health disparities in the country.
“We need to change this,” she said. “We must do better and we will do better.”
The remainder of the “Shop Talk” program featured Black Dem activists and organizers in Wisconsin speaking informally with prominent national figures such as entertainers Jermaine Dupri and Terrence J about engaging with the Black community and building grassroots support and interest in politics.
Watch the video here.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: NAACP Kenosha president: ‘We’re in the process of mourning’
The video showing Jacob Blake’s shooting by police “had a terrible effect on the whole community,” Anthony Davis, president of the Kenosha NAACP, said Thursday in a virtual event hosted by the Biden-Harris campaign.
“We’re in the process of mourning. We just ask you for your support during this time,” he said.
He criticized the destruction of property in the city during the unrest, saying that he saw mom-and-pop stores destroyed and businesses boarded up.
“I’ve never seen that in Kenosha before. It just hurts,” he said. “We’re going to get through this.”
He also criticized police brutality and called for police to use body cameras, which the Kenosha Police Department currently does not use.
Davis’ remarks were part of a “Shop Talk” featuring Black businessmen, leaders, and organizational leaders that focused on issues in the Black community in Wisconsin and the rest of the country.
Lt. Gov Mandela Barnes joined the call toward the end, following a press conference with Gov. Tony Evers earlier in Kenosha.
“It’s challenging,” he said. “This isn’t something new. … Police brutality didn’t start with Jacob Blake, George Floyd; it didn’t even start with Dontre Hamilton,” who was shot by police in Milwaukee in 2014, Mandela said.
On Friday, Congressman Mark Pocan, Milwaukee NAACP President Fred Royal, Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin von Ruden, and Milwaukee ICU nurse Monica Watry held a press conference highlighting President Donald Trump’s failed leadership.
“This is all happening under Donald Trump and Mike Pence…This is Donald Trump’s problem and creation…The reason we may not be safe in Donald Trump’s America — the person who’s actually the president — is because he’s fanning those flames, and because he hasn’t addressed our health crisis, and because he hasn’t addressed the economy in the way that we need to,” said Congressman Mark Pocan.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighted Congressman Pocan’s reaction to the RNC and the crises families are facing in Trump’s America:
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Wisconsin leaders criticized President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks during the Republican National Convention and their handling of racial justice issues, during a call with reporters on Friday.
“During this past week at the Republican convention, it was rather Orwellian watching Vice President Pence say… ‘you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,’” Pocan said. “Does this guy understand who’s in charge right now? Donald Trump and Mike Pence are the folks who are in charge of this country” during a time of deaths from COVID-19, protests, and economic difficulty.
Another speaker, Wisconsin Farmers Union president Darin Von Ruden, responded to claims made during the Republican National Convention that Wisconsin dairy farms are booming thanks to Trump.
“We’re losing a farm and a half a day… dairy farms (in Wisconsin). Since President Trump took office, we’ve lost 2,255 dairy farms in the state of Wisconsin alone,” Von Ruden said.
Jammin 98.3 Milwaukee recently talked with Michael Bivins of New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe (BBD) about what’s at stake this November, why he is supporting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and how voters in the Badger State can register to vote and request their ballots in the mail at iwillvote.com. You can listen to the interview here.
“What we were doing on our own became a platform for others. So even in this election, I said you know what, with what we’re doing in Boston let’s just go national. So, I just joined up with the Biden campaign,” Mike Bivins said during the interview.
Bivins also spoke with Reggie Brown of V100.7 Jams. You can listen to part of that interview here.