W. Kamau Bell talks Joe Biden, 2020 presidential race, educational inequities with COVID-19

The host of CNN's "United Shades of America" believes a Black woman is Biden's best pick for a running mate in the November election.

ByKayla Galloway KGO logo
Saturday, August 8, 2020
W. Kamau Bell talks Joe Biden, 2020 race, schools and COVID-19
W. Kamau Bell, the Bay Area native and host of "United Shades of America," joined ABC7 on Friday to talk about the 2020 presidential race, education amid COVID-19 and everything in between.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- W. Kamau Bell, host of CNN's "United Shades of America," social activist and Bay Area native, joined ABC7's Kristen Sze on Friday to discuss the 2020 race, Joe Biden's vice presidential pick, the impact of COVID-19 on education and other topics of interest in the Bay Area.

2020 Presidential Election

In terms of the 2020 race, Bell believes a Black woman is Biden's best pick for a running mate in the November election.

"By not picking a Black woman, it would be more than who he's picking and more about who he's not picking," Bell said.

RELATED: Biden faces backlash over comparing diversity in Black, Latino communities

As far as who he believes is the strongest pick for Biden's vice president, that title goes Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia lawmaker and contender for state governor.

Bell believes Abrams brings something to the table that Biden can't.

"She can speak to southerners of all races in a way that Joe Biden might not be able to," Bell said.

Bell also reiterated that no one thought Pres. Barack Obama would pick Biden as his vice president, so it's still unclear who will fill the seat in this year's race.

Bell said Abrams would "add something very significant" to the Biden presidential ticket.

RELATED: W. Kamau Bell shares insight on racism in America, riots across US

Biden was the subject of criticism this week because of comments he made about the Latino versus African American vote.

Bell reiterated the Black vote is not monolithic, meaning though the African American community represents part of the Democratic base, there is diversity.

Biden said Thursday the Latino community is diverse, "unlike the African American community."

"I think it's about how (Biden is) defining diversity," Bell said.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden faces new scrutiny over how he discusses race and ethnicity after drawing distinctions between Black and Latino populations in the United States.


During Friday's interview, the CNN host, a father of three, also talked about how COVID-19 has worsened inequity among kids and education.

During the pandemic, some families have proposed setting up learning pods for their children. Some families have the resources to do so, while others do not, which limits some children from keeping up.

RELATED: 'Most families can afford this': Entrepreneur Jason Calacanis responds to criticism of job posting for 'best teacher' for pandemic pod

Bell said he understands why certain parents set up private learning pods, but emphasized the inequities.

During the interview, he also discussed the addition of ethnic studies course in California schools.

RELATED: Building a Better Bay Area: Back to School

The course topic will soon be a requirement in the CSU, thanks to a vote earlier this year by university leaders.

Bell believes it's all about who's teaching an ethnic studies class.

"It sounds good in theory, but who's teaching the class?" he said.

Oakland A's Controversy

An Oakland A's bench coach apologized Thursday night after making a gesture that resembled a Nazi salute.

Bell, an Oakland resident himself, said people have to be aware of what they're doing, particularly those in the public eye.

"We're all being watched, especially if you're in a position of privilege," Bell said.

Though Bell said there's also power in just saying "oops" and apologizing.

RELATED: A's bench coach sorry for 'unintentionally' making apparent Nazi salute

"You should be able to apologize and explain when people perceive you as messing up," he said.

The bench coach, Ryan Christenson, was spotted on camera extending his arm in the air while the A's we're heading off the field following the team's win Thursday.

Watch the full interview with W. Kamau Bell above.

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