With her hailed handling of anti-racism protests, swift action after the death of a black man over the weekend, and poignant speeches, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is climbing the odds to become Joe Biden’s running mate and , perhaps, the first African-American vice-president of the United States.
But at the age of 50, the one who said, about the death of George Floyd “to have suffered like a mother”, plays big on the management of the new crisis which shakes Atlanta since the death of Rayshard Brooks, a black man shot dead by a white policeman in his town on Friday.
And her lack of experience at the national level could also handicap her chances of being chosen as running mate by the Democratic candidate for the White House.
Joe Biden, 77, has promised to appoint a woman by August to accompany him in the presidential election that will pit him against Donald Trump on November 3.
In case of victory, she will become the first vice-president of the United States. And in the midst of a historic movement of anti-racist anger, pressure mounted for him to choose an African-American candidate.
“It’s really hard for me to put aside my own anger and sadness to tell our people what they need to hear because in reality: what can we say to them?” Keisha Lance Bottoms lamented Sunday night on CNN.
Not hesitating to show her emotions in interviews, the mayor of Atlanta, a southern city which proudly displays its African-American heritage and where a majority of the inhabitants are black, spoke of the death of Rayshard Brooks.
As early as Saturday, she announced the “immediate” resignation of the police chief, said she did not think that the fact that he had resisted his arrest justifies “the use of lethal force” and called for the immediate dismissal of the police. policeman who fired.
That same day, hundreds of people demonstrated in the city, some torching the restaurant in front of which he was shot. A peaceful march was organized on Monday.
It was after the death of George Floyd, a black man suffocated by a white police officer on May 25 in Minneapolis, that Keisha Lance Bottoms was catapulted to the top of the prognosis on the possible running mates of Joe Biden.
As Atlanta, like other American cities, went up in flames, she improvised a startling speech calling on the rioters to return home.
“First and foremost, I’m a mother. The mother of four black children in America,” she said on May 29. “So you are not going to tell me that you are more worried than I am.”
“If you want to change America, go register to vote (…) You dishonor the life of George Floyd and all those who were killed in this country”.
Mayor of Atlanta since 2018, city councilor from 2010 to 2018 after being an interim judge, Keisha Lance Bottoms does not have the traditional CV of running mates – often elected members of the US Congress or governors – that her rivals can boast of. approached as Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, or Congresswoman Val Demings.
But she is close to Joe Biden and was one of the first mayors of a major city to support him as early as June 2019.
Recognized soul singer, who had performed with The Beatles and Elton John, her father, Major Lance, was arrested at their home for possession and sale of cocaine when she was eight years old.
She testified to her pain to see him leave handcuffed. And explained that it was also why she supported Joe Biden, who promises to eliminate “racial inequalities” from the justice system.
She was also noted for her management of the Covid-19 pandemic, which strikes in the United States particularly African-Americans, by opposing the deconfinement launched by the Republican governor of his state of Georgia at the end of April.
“We are dying from Covid-19. We are dying because of police brutality and poverty and lack of access to a quality health system, and because of unemployment,” she told Vanity Fair magazine in June.
“Our communities are saying: + We want this to change now +”.
15/06/2020 21:54:13 –
Washington (AFP) –
© 2020 AFP