A combo picture of US rapper Cardi B and Joe Biden. AFP
In a wide-ranging interview published on Monday, superstar rapper Cardi B candidly quizzed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden on issues including police brutality, healthcare reform and higher education.
Speaking via Zoom for Elle Magazine, the Grammy winner and the former vice president kicked off by agreeing on their mutual goal of removing Republican Donald Trump from the White House, which Cardi B said was particularly vital considering the tumultuous federal pandemic response.
The rapper – who vocally backed Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders in the two previous presidential primaries – also reiterated her support for Medicare for All along with free higher education.
"And I want Black people to stop getting killed and no justice for it," said the 27-year-old, born Belcalis Almanzar to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother.
"There's no reason why we can't have all of that," Biden answered. "Presidents have to take responsibility."
Biden encouraged Cardi B's young fan base to stay politically engaged and vote, telling her "the reason I'm so optimistic is because of your generation."
"You're the smartest, the best educated, the least prejudiced, and the most engaged generation in history," Biden said.
Saying that Trump "appeals to... prejudice," Biden vowed to work towards repairing stark social divisions in the United States, which Cardi B warned "could be the start of a civil war."
"Nobody wants to feel targeted. Nobody wants animosity. Everybody just wants the best for themselves, their future, their kids' future," she said.
The mother of a two-year-old, Cardi B also brought up the issue of childcare so parents can work, a need that has become particularly acute with schools closed due to COVID-19.
Biden agreed, pointing to his struggles as a single father when his wife and one of his children died in a car accident, with two of his boys surviving.
Cardi B emphasised the need for bolstering initiatives in underserved communities, also saying some of those policies must extend beyond K-12 schooling and that as a college student she couldn't always afford meals.
The interview comes on the opening day of the Democratic Party's virtual convention, with the party's disparate factions projecting a united front behind the 77-year-old Biden, with a common determination to boot Trump in November's vote.
It also landed days after the Bronx rapper urged fellow New Yorker and Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president when she turns 35 – the minimum age to run – to which the Democratic lawmaker replied "Women Against Patriarchy (WAP) 2020."
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