By Jamada Gardner
Yes, Lawd! I usually prefer to keep my columns as I would my governments: Jesus-free. However, if the electoral results are true, I believe something immaculate might have happened. According to most networks, former Vice President Joe Biden has passed the 270-vote threshold for presidency, dwarfing President Trump by over fifty electoral votes. Trump is currently filing lawsuits against many swing states in an attempt to claim more media attention, but the Electoral College count as well as the popular count have spoken, and they’re saying “f**k off.”
We shouldn’t treat these results as the second coming. Joe Biden might be “our” white man, but he is still a white man with white politics, and the Black community needs to squeeze all the support we can get out of him. Let’s look at what he has in store for the next four years for America and most importantly, Black America.
An America under Biden is an America that can finally address the preeminent threat facing the world: global warming. Trump undeniably took us back to a dangerous time. He exited the U.S from the Paris Agreement and he signaled the rest of the West to match our irresponsibility. On the other hand, Biden has claimed he will put forward funds to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, which is a tremendous step.
If he can push the U.S. to globally commit to sharing this responsibility with the international world, the people can have greater confidence in ole Joe.
Trump’s greatest achievement for the Republican Party was gutting Obama’s achievement, the Affordable Care Act. In doing so, he stripped millions of necessary health care and pushed Americans toward more expensive, private health care options. Biden pledges not only to reinstate the mandate for Obamacare, but to also expand upon the system, making it less complex to navigate.
Biden does not plan to enter a senseless trade war with China, but he does recognize the competition that China will become. An economic competition with China is useless without a solid economy on our part. With this in mind, Biden plans to push for continual stimulus packages to ensure our economy stabilizes through the end of the COVID pandemic.
A final highlight is his position on our “dreamers.” President-elect Joe Biden plans to push for a greater focus on our dreamers by strengthening DACA, a program intended to protect said dreamers from becoming separated from their parents. Unlike some clowns outchea, Biden at least claims to have the empathy to reinstate the DACA.
Now, onto the more important stuff. Biden has been as quiet as a church mouse in terms of his plan to improve race relations and ensure that Black Americans get what we deserve. This has been especially telling given his advocacy for the 1994 crime bill that imprisoned a generation of our people. How does his new plan hold up against past transgressions?
As a rectification for his previous political foibles, Biden aims to expand the powers of the U.S Justice Department to mitigate the problem of police brutality. This will include establishing an independent task force to address the issue, a push for greater community-oriented policing, and the reformation of sentencing laws. Now, the last part sounds like a tangible improvement. No longer should Black folk have to face crippling amounts of prison time for petty drug possession. The first two solutions sound like fluff and sly political talk for “We’ll talk about the problem, but nothing will get done.”
Biden also promises to invest in Black American businesses, which is alright by me. This is excellent, as there is a serious need to build up the Black middle class to compete with white workers and entrepreneurs. This investment will include extending billions of dollars to support small businesses, extending tax credits to more Black businesses, and extending federal contracts to Black-owned businesses.
In Biden’s “Black Plan,” he hopes to address the extreme disparity that Black female workers face in the job market. He cites that Black women make 61 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. Although his plan to address this criminal disparity is vague at best, I appreciate that he even had the wherewithal to consider this fact. This is probably the doing of his Vice President, Kamala Harris, but her influence on him is the subject for a different column.
Biden also desires to push for more teacher diversity, which is an excellent idea. I’m sick and tired of Black and brown folk continually being taught by white people who have no experience or business teaching these kids. This always results in a type of behavioral policing that stifles the students’ ability to learn and makes school a hostile environment.
To conclude with this section, Biden also plans to invest over seventy billion dollars into HBCUs. Our HBCUs have historically been underinvested in, and that's depressing considering how much of a pillar to the community these institutions have been and still remain. I find this aspiration to be a breath of fresh air, and I hope this funding goes to extra-curriculars, research materials, scholarships, and therapy (god*mmit!).
While, on the whole, this news bears the scent of a positive four years, Biden is only the President. He can push for policy, but ratification must go through the House and Senate for approval. While the race currently shows Republicans leading the Senate, there is more than enough room for the count to shift in the direction of Democrats, so we’ll have to hope and pray.
Or maybe, maybe we could take a more active governmental role in our communities so that our political needs aren’t always contingent upon the decisions of the children in Washington. We could exercise our civic agency, therefore taking a more active role, until a better alternative is provided that can aid us in taking full control of our political destiny. For the next four years, instead of sitting pretty in our melanin, let’s use the defeat of Trump as a representation of the new era of American politics.