ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Legendary political and civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton said it's going to be difficult for former vice president Joe Biden to win the White House without a black woman running mate.

“We’ve never had a black woman on the ticket and we need to stop acting like they're not qualified,” said Sharpton. “And he could really energize the black community I think which he's going to need. He's going to need to turn out record numbers.”

In a CBS46 exclusive, he told anchor Karyn Greer, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms or former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams would make excellent vice presidents.

Sharpton said Mayor Bottoms' leadership during pandemic, and her unwavering support for the Democratic nominee, make her standout.

“You can't at all question her ability to manage, to be an executive and that's what a vice president must be prepared to operate,” said Sharpton. “And I might remind you she was one of the first people to endorse Joe Biden. She stood with Joe Biden when it looked like he was going to be dropped out of the race.”

Abrams appeal to the masses shouldn’t be underestimated, he said.

“Stacey Abrams has excited the nation. She would bring in a lot of young voters that may not be excited. She would bring in a lot of people across all lines,” said.

Sharpton said America is ready for a black female vice president.

“They said in 2008, that we could not win with a black man who we couldn't pronounce his name until halfway through the election, and he won, and he got re-elected,” Sharpton said.

“Certainly, we can win with a black vice president that is a woman. In fact, I suggest it's going to be difficult to win without one,” he said.

Sharpton and his National Action Network will be here next week to trump up black voter turnout, and help local activists keep pressure on the Ahmaud Arbery murder at the hands of two white men.

Arbery’s death is now being investigated as a federal hate crime.

“I've been in these types of fights for a long time, if you don't keep a spotlight on it they will have a way of disappearing in some investigators office,” said Sharpton. “They have to know that we're not going anywhere and the nation is going to watch to make sure the Arbery's get justice.”

He said Arbery's death and other racial incidents popping up during this pandemic solidify the continued need for black civil rights organizations.

The latest incident involving a viral video of a white woman in New York’s Central Park calling the police on a black man has sparked national outrage.

The woman called officers after the man asked her to keep her dog on a leash – which is required in designated areas throughout the park.

“They've got to have somewhere to call, somewhere to go. No one goes into other communities and says why do you have groups? Why do you have the Italian-American Civil Rights League? Why do you have the Anti-Defamation League in the Jewish communities,” said Sharpton. “They only ask black organizations why we exist. And the reason that you ask is the reason that we exist.”

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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