What’s in Joe Biden’s plan on systemic racism and racial fairness: NPR
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images
Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the alleged Democratic presidential candidate, detailed a proposal on Tuesday to advance racial equity in the United States.
The plan is the fourth and final pillar of its “Build Back Better” program for economic recovery, developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“[Biden] believes in an economy where every American gets a fair return for their work and an equal chance to move forward. A more dynamic and powerful economy precisely because everyone will be included in the agreement. An economy where Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American workers and families are finally welcomed as full participants, ”says the campaign proposal.
Biden described the plan Tuesday afternoon during remarks in his hometown of Wilmington, Del. Biden dramatically cut back on campaign trips amid the pandemic, staying primarily in Delaware and neighboring Pennsylvania.
The former vice-president responded to journalists’ questions following his remarks. He said he plans to nominate his choice of vice president next week, and he expressed confidence in Democrats to take over the Senate.
Biden’s new proposal aims to fill the country’s racial gaps, opportunities and jobs through what the campaign says is a “historic effort to empower the creation and expansion of small businesses in economically disadvantaged areas – and by especially for blacks, latinos, [Asian American and Pacific Islander] and businesses owned by Native Americans. “
The 26-page plan focuses on strengthening small business opportunities for minority communities, reforming “zones of opportunity”, investing in affordable housing and home ownership, and expanding access to resources for entrepreneurs of color.
Many of the detailed policy proposals on Tuesday were released earlier by the campaign and reflect the priorities of the other three pillars of its plan to revitalize the economy, including a major expansion in access to child care services, a program $ 2,000 billion climate change boost and a manufacturing boost through a “Buy American” proposal.
The racial equity plan would devote $ 30 billion – 10% of the $ 300 billion Biden aims to invest in research and development to boost the economy – to a new small business opportunity fund. The campaign suggests the investment would bring in $ 150 billion in venture capital and low-interest commercial loans.
The housing plan includes a refundable tax credit of up to $ 15,000 for first-time homebuyers to tackle racial inequalities in housing markets, as well as an investment to build 1.5 million homes and social housing, and the elimination of housing regulations that purport to perpetuate discrimination. .
The plan also emphasizes student debt relief and would make public colleges and universities – and historically black private schools – tuition-free for families with incomes below $ 125,000, which the government says. campaign estimates apply to about 90% of blacks, Latinos and Natives. American households.
Further, the plan reads: “As president, Biden will enact legislation to ensure that everyone can attend community college for up to two years without paying tuition fees. ”
Biden also called on the Federal Reserve to add targeting of persistent racial gaps in jobs, wages and wealth to its main tenure.
In response to the plan, President Trump’s re-election campaign said in a statement that “no one should listen to a racial justice lecture by Joe Biden,” citing his past dealings with segregationist senators and various comments he made. .
Last week, in a virtual town hall hosted by the Service Employees International Union, Biden controversially described Trump as the country’s “first” racist president, first reported by The Washington Post.
“No sitting president has ever done this,” he said, noting that Trump often calls the coronavirus a “Chinese virus.” Biden said, “We had racists, and they existed. They tried to get elected president. He was the first to do it.”
Various American Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, enslaved black people. Even more presidents held racist beliefs, including President Woodrow Wilson, who split the federal government. The Biden campaign then told the Post that while there had been other racist presidents, Trump “stands out – especially in modern history – because he has made racism and division his calling card. and won “.
Trump dismissed Biden’s comments during a White House press briefing, citing his administration’s efforts to push through criminal justice reform and low black unemployment before the pandemic.
“I have done more for black Americans than anyone except the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln,” he said.