The racial equity efforts of the Biden-Harris administration

know about The racial equity efforts of the Biden-Harris administration

Although much remains to be done, the current Administration has made historic progress in advancing equity.

Last week, President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris speak in Atlanta to rally support for the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, which must pass the United States Senate before it can become law. However, some African Americans do not believe that the president has spent enough political capital to get the voting rights bill through the US Senate, especially as voter suppression laws emerge in states across the country.

In fact, many of the Georgia activists who mobilized voters for the 2020 election boycotted the president’s speech in Atlanta because they don’t think the president has “done enough to advance issues of racial equity, particularly voting rights.” Voter protection stands as a central pillar of American democracy, and as the midterm elections approach, “justice is too long.” delayed” could ultimately result in “justice denied.”

The same could be said of the search for better justice in policing. the Law of Justice in the Police of George Floydthat has passed in the House of Representatives, awaits the approval of the Senate.

But a focus on stalled legislative efforts need not lead the public to overlook how, in other key areas, the Biden Administration has made tangible progress in advancing equity through executive action and prior legislation. What Marc Morialthe president and CEO of the National Urban League, has indicatedPresident Biden has done historic work to support black Americans, but this work has not received wide attention.

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One of the president’s first Executive Orders managed each federal agency to address the lasting impacts of systemic racism in Black communities, promote racial equity, and support underserved communities. As Vice President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Jessica Fultonhas saida US government acknowledgment that it needs to address racial equity is “actually a big deal.”

President Biden also led the way by following through on his promise to to name one of the most diverse cabinets in the history of the United States.

The US COVID-19 aid package, the american Bailout Act, raised economic opportunity for African Americans through efforts such as additional funding for social safety net programs and federal support and investment in Black-owned businesses. The plan provided cash aid to low- and middle-income Americans, which Cut Black child poverty at 40.1 percent. This relief lifted approximately 420,000 black children out of poverty between June and July 2021 and was estimated to reduce the black child poverty rate by more than 50 percent in 2021.

In addition, the American Rescue Plan provided Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with $3.7 billion in pandemic relief, with 45 HBCUs receiving $1.6 billion in debt relief.

The Biden Administration has also bolstered educational equity through a series of administrative actions. For example, in September, President Biden issued a executive order establishing the “White House Initiative to Promote Equity, Opportunity, and Excellence in Education through HBCUs.” This initiative will support HBCUs by removing systemic barriers that prevent their participation in federal programs.

In October, President Biden issued another executive order launch a White House Initiative to promote educational equity, excellence, and economic opportunity for African Americans, designed to dismantle entrenched inequalities that “continue to plague America’s educational system.”

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The Biden Administration has also aimed to reduce health disparities. For example, the American Rescue Plan included health care initiatives around Black maternal health and an equitable response to COVID-19.

The Biden Administration has also implemented criminal justice reforms. In September, the US Department of Justice forbidden the use of chokeholds and carotid restraints by federal law enforcement officers, except when deadly force is necessary, and placed new restrictions on warrants.

These uses of police force have resulted in the deaths of unarmed black Americans, including Eric Garner, who was delicate in the strangulation of a New York police officer, and Breonna Taylor, whom Louisville police officers delicate at his home while executing an arrest warrant. Of course, while the new Justice Department policy is significant, it does not apply to state law enforcement officers, so Congress must still pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to implement these reforms across the country. country.

Even with respect to voting rights, even though the Republicans opposition to a federal voting rights law, the Biden Administration has taken steps to use executive branch to assist in voter protection. The Department of Justice, for example, has duplicate his staff dedicated himself to voter protection, so the government can bring more cases like the ongoing lawsuit against Georgia over election laws targeting black voters. President Biden also issued a executive order to leverage the resources of the federal government to provide access to voter registration.

Overall, the Biden Administration has taken numerous policy steps that seek advantage equity and opportunity for “Black people and communities across the country.” Many of these initiatives Address high-priority policy issues for African Americans.

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Two summers ago, millions of Americans protested across the country for anti-racist structural reforms and hoped that a new administration would usher in this change. Many African Americans believe, as did Dr. King, that “justice for Negroes cannot be accomplished without radical changes in the structure of our society”. A recent Pew study found that 58 percent of black adults say most of the nation’s laws and major institutions need to be completely rebuilt compared to 18 percent of white adults.

Still, as the United States becomes more divided throughout the race and political lines, radical change is becoming increasingly difficult. It is too soon to say whether this Administration will have a lasting structural impact on racial equity in the United States.

For now, the Biden Administration He says that meeting your goals for the voting and policing bills remains a priority and brags of additional equity efforts that could be achieved with the approval of the build back better plan. In fact, last week in Atlanta, President Biden, referring to the Voting Rights Act, I ask a simple question from the nation’s public officials: “Do you want to side with Dr. King or George Wallace?”

If Dr. King words from a Birmingham jail shed some light on the Administration’s current political impasse with Congress, “progress never rolls on wheels of inevitability,” but requires “relentless effort.”