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HomeNewsCornel West Announces BLM Activist Melina Abdullah as His Vice President

Cornel West Announces BLM Activist Melina Abdullah as His Vice President

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Cornel West tapped university professor and prominent Black Lives Matter activist Melina Abdullah to be his running mate for his long-shot presidential bid.

Abdullah has never run for political office before and is the former chair of the Pan-African Studies Department at California State University, Los Angeles. West is running as an independent candidate and faces significant challenges in his campaign for the White House.

Since getting in the race, West has switched parties twice, leaving the People`s Party and the Green Party to ultimately run as an independent.

The switch mandates an expensive and difficult process to get his name on the ballot in 50 states and Washington, DC.

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“Both of us want to disrupt the narrative that you have only two choices,” Abdullah said of their ticket.

But this method was not successful in California, one of the hardest states to gain ballot access, as West lost the Peace and Freedom Party`s primary to the Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate in March.

Abdullah, who also organizes grassroots and local Black Lives Matter chapters, said she “was not expecting the phone call that I got last week at all like it was the furthest thing from my mind.” 

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Black Lives Matter doesn`t endorse candidates, she said, but individuals involved with the organization may endorse her separately.

Abdullah, who is also a Howard University graduate and member of the AKA sorority, said she would not step away from her work organizing with the grassroots local chapters.

West also said there wouldn`t be any political “burden” associated with Black Lives Matter, which has called for defunding the police and was alleged to be associated with property destruction at civil rights demonstrations in 2020.

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The announcement was a major milestone for West`s campaign but was not without issues. Democrats were swift to criticize West`s announcement.

“Despite Cornel West announcing a running mate, our view remains the same: only two candidates have a path to 270 electoral votes, President Biden and Donald Trump,” said DNC spokesperson Matt Corridoni.

On the morning of West`s announcement, the New York Times reported that Trump allies view third-party candidates as advantageous for Trump`s reelection chances.

One ally, Scott Presler, has messaged both West and the Green Party`s Jill Stein about helping them get on the ballot on social media.

West co-campaign manager Ceyanna Dent said Scott Presler has not worked with the campaign in any capacity. West was asked by Smiley about being a possible spoiler in 2024 and said, No politician owns a vote.

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