With these declining poll numbers amongst Black voters, you’d think it was Biden and not former President Donald Trump who referred to Haiti and African countries as “shithole” countries, called for the “Central Park Five” to face the death penalty, gassed Black Lives Matters protestors for a photo-op, questioned the birth of the nation’s first Black President, and said that white supremacist protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia were “some very fine people.”
So, why is Biden hemorrhaging support amongst Black voters, and why are 20% of Black voters saying they would consider supporting Trump instead? Let’s look at Biden’s policies and see exactly what he has done for Black folks. Notably, I hate the framing of this question because it implies that us Black voters want special treatment. In actuality, we want the same things all Americans want - equality, safety, education, bodily autonomy, and economic freedom. Since his election in 2020, Biden’s Administration has:
- Given us the first Black Vice President
- Appointed the first Black female Supreme Court Justice
- Invested over $7 Billion into HBCUs
- Appointed more Black women judges to the federal circuit courts than all previous presidents combined
- Provided $1 Billion in loans to Black owned small businesses
- Signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, the first antilynching bill in U.S. History
- Banned Federal law enforcement from using chokeholds in response to George Floyds murder
- Pardoned thousands of Americans convicted of simple possession under federal marijuana laws
- Overseen record low Black unemployment
Now, despite this list, it isn’t to say that Biden nor his Administration has been perfect. In 1994, then Senator Biden was an architect of the Crime Bill that led to mass incarceration in the Black Community. Furthermore, his conduct towards Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearing was shameful.
President Biden was also extremely slow in pushing for a new Voting Rights Act, a bill which ultimately died in the United States Senate along with the George Floyd Policing Act (important to note that Republicans killed both bills). Moreover, Black households continue to struggle with inadequate schools and education, racial discrimination and prejudice, and the high prices of goods and lack of affordable housing. But as Biden likes to say, don’t compare him to the Almighty, compare him to the alternative. The alternative in this case is a Republican Party who is on a crusade to erase Black History, destroy diversity programs in the same way they abolished Affirmative Action, and the party continues to disenfranchise and demonize Black voters.
Of the litany of issues facing the Black community, Republicans have not proposed one policy solution. Additionally, one of their leading presidential candidates said America “has never been racist.” Tell that to the scores of Black slaves throughout history that were brought to this country against their will, and their descendants who have endured lynching’s, terrorism, discrimination, and blatant and systematic racism.
The question shouldn’t be what has candidate x done for the Black Community, it should be which candidate and party brings us closer to liberation and equality - in this instance, it is President Biden and the Democrats. They may not be perfect, and it is our responsibility to hold them accountable, but at least they recognize our history and existence (a low bar, I know) and for now, that will have to do. In comparison, Republicans and Trump want to take us back to 1955 – and we can’t afford to go back.