NAACP says Biden has yet to schedule a meeting with them

Biden has, thus far, selected at least 10 black officials to serve in key administration jobs.

Published: December 2, 2020 8:33am

Updated: December 2, 2020 4:10pm

The president of the NAACP says that Joe Biden and his team have yet to schedule a meeting with the leading civil rights group following the Nov. 3 election. 

NAACP President Derrick Johnson on Tuesday expressed dismay at the silence from Team Biden, which next month could take the reins of the executive branch, and suggested that Biden has so far considered mostly white candidates to fill cabinet posts.

"But for the black community support for him, he would not be in office," Johnson said. "We have not had any communication with the president-elect, so we have no concept of what to expect next."

 Biden's possible cabinet and other high-ranking picks have some diverse backgrounds. 

Biden's vice presidential running mate Sen. Kamala Harris and Neera Tanden, picked to serve as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, are female and people of color.

Black voters for decades have largely supported Democrats at the polls. Biden lost the the first two 2020 state nominating contests, in Iowa and New Hampshire, before Rep. James Clyburn endorsed him ahead of the primary in his home state of South Carolina, turning out black votes that helped Biden win the state primary, turn his fortunes around and eventually capture the party's nomination.

Representatives from the Biden campaign say their team has "engaged" with some of the civil rights groups that have requested meetings, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, though they did not confirm any meetings were on the books. 

Biden has announced Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a black woman, as his choice to serve as the ambassador to the United Nations. Cecilia Rouse was also announced Tuesday. If confirmed, she would be the first African-American to serve as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Biden has also said he would appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court, if given the opportunity. 

However, civil rights groups remain adamant that Biden should be selecting more African-Americans for jobs at the top of the totem pole. Their focus has now pivoted to the roles of secretary of defense and attorney general. Jeh Johnson, the former secretary of homeland security under President Obama, and a black man, is purportedly on the shortlist to run the Justice Department.

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