Less than three weeks before the 2020 general election, rapper Diddy announced on Friday that he has joined forces with a group of elected officials and activists in launching a Black political party.
"I'm launching one of the boldest things I've ever launched. I'm launching a Black political party with some young Black elected officials and activists. It's called [Our Black Party], it doesn't matter if you are Republican or Democrat," he wrote in a series of tweets. "The mission is to create a platform to help advance a political agenda that addresses the needs of Black people. So, going forward we aren't in the same position we are in today."
The hip-hop mogul, who has been critical of the Democratic Party, has endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But he also urged voters to "hold [Biden] accountable" and delivered a passionate rebuke of President Donald Trump.
"The NUMBER ONE priority is to get Trump out of office. HE HAS TO GO. We can't allow this man to continue to try and DIVIDE US," Diddy tweeted.
"Things have got too serious," he added. "It would be irresponsible of me to have us hold our vote hostage. But it would also be irresponsible of me to let this moment go by and not make sure going forward we are doing what it takes to own our politics."
The hip-hop star's comments on holding the vote "hostage" appear to reference comments he made in April during an appearance on Naomi Campbell’s web series, "No Filter with Naomi," where he said that Biden has not yet earned his vote.
"Our vote is not for free ... Biden needs to make it clear that he’s gonna change the lives and quality of life of Black and Brown people. Or else he can’t get the vote. And I will hold the vote hostage if I have to,” he said.
This idea was also expressed by Ice Cube as he defended advising the Trump campaign on the administration's plan for Black America.
The hip-hop legend urged politicians to sign on to his "Contract With Black America" -- a plan to uplift Black Americans -- and described himself as a "single issue voter."
"My single issue is, whoever does the most for Black Americans will get my vote. If you leave us blank, I will leave you blank. Crumbles not excepted," Ice Cube tweeted.
Diddy and Ice Cube's efforts come as the Democratic Party and the Biden campaign face a challenge in gaining the support of some Black voters, particularly younger generations who feel that the party has been taking the Black vote for granted.
The issue came up during ABC News' Town Hall with Biden on Thursday night, hosted by chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, where Biden was pressed on the issue by a young Black man, who said he is a progressive Democrat.
“What do you have to say to young Black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that continually fails to protect them?” Cedric Humphrey, a student from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, asked the former vice president.
“Well, I say, first of all, as my buddy John Lewis said, it’s a sacred opportunity, the right to vote. It can make a difference. If young Black women and men vote, you can determine the outcome of this election," Biden said. "And the next question is am I worthy of your vote? Can I earn your vote?"
"We have to be able to put Black Americans in a position to be able to gain wealth, to generate wealthy," Biden added, outlining various policies in areas like education reform.
Diddy calls for Black people to 'own our politics,' launches Black political party originally appeared on abcnews.go.com