Maybe you love him, maybe you hate him. But you are a person with sense — you have to admit you are relieved.
Joe Biden won the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
We do not have to suffer through another term of a president who clearly has no real care or concern for our people — or anyone other than cisgender, able-bodied, rich white men. While most of the Black community is taking a collective sigh of relief, many still have questions on the exact plans Biden has to uplift the Black community.
According to his campaign website, Biden’s plans for Black America includes improving economic mobility of African Americans, expanding access to high-quality education, investing in ending health disparities by race, strengthening America’s commitment to justice, creating equal protection for the right to vote and addressing environmental justice.
The document includes specific plans and goals his administration plans to take to uplift disparities within the Black community.
In closing the economic gap, Biden plans to create double funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative. This initiative was created by the Obama-Biden administration to support small businesses, especially those owned by women and people of color. He said he will extend the program, generating $3 billion in federal funding by 2025.
Biden also plans to increase funding for the Minority Business Development Agency budget, assure economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic reaches the Black community and encourage diversity and inclusion within companies. This will specifically be done through increasing funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
He said he will improve diversity and opportunity within the workforce through creating laws to aid works in class action lawsuits and hold companies accountable for discrimination, in line with the Paycheck Fairness Act.
He also plans to tackle racial disparities in education with a focus on investing in education for children starting at a young age. Within this, he said he will create universal pre-kindergarten for 3 and 4-year-olds and improve diversity within schools through advocating for innovative ways to recruit and retain teachers of color.
A considerable area of tackling educational disparities is through addressing the African American student debt crisis. The Brookings Institution found Black students graduating with a four-year degree are five times more likely to take on loans than white graduates.
Biden said he will forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two and four-year public colleges for debt-holders earning up to $125,000 and forgive student individuals making $25,000 or less per year.
Student loan debt is a problem many students face, so this is something IU students should take note of.
Biden also plans to increase Affordable Care Act subsidies, reopen Obamacare enrollment so uninsured individuals can get insured and increase federal investments in Medicaid and assure everyone, insured or not, has access to COVID-19 testing and treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found Black people are 2.6 times more likely to contract COVID-19 than non-Hispanic whites, so it is critical that the issue of health disparities are at the forefront.
While some are critical of Biden’s history with Black Americans, specifically regarding the 1994 crime bill, this is a win for Black Americans. If we are being honest, virtually anything that is not another Trump term is a win and something worth being happy about.
In his speech yesterday, Biden thanked Black Americans.
"You've always had my back and I'll have yours," he said.
While we should undoubtedly be celebrating, we must hold Biden to that statement.