Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden evokes leadership during the nation-wide protests surrounding the unjust murder of George Floyd. Jasmine Razeghi writes about how Biden missed the whole point in not addressing specifically the black community, who is hurting the most. 

On May 31st, former Vice President Joe Biden made a statement regarding the recent protests regarding the murder of George Floyd. 

While Biden supports the protests, as  “an utterly American response”, he also goes against the violent reactions that have been displayed by protesters across the nation. “Protesting such brutality is right and necessary…But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. The violence that endangers lives is not. The violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not,” Biden said. While former officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested, the arrests of the other three officers responsible for Floyd’s death are yet to be made.

The presumptive nominee highlighted his commitment as president in regard to Floyd’s murder, stating, “as President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen. I will keep the commitment I made to George’s brother, Philonise, that George will not just be a hashtag.” With this, Biden has reminded the American people of his leadership during a painful time for the country.

The systematic inequalities, however,  continue to hurt underrepresented communities and this is something Joe Biden has recognized. These protests go beyond the killing of George Floyd. 

However, in addressing the George Floyd protests, Biden missed the whole point. In his statement, Biden used the umbrella term “people of colour” instead of specifically referring to “black people”. Why would that make a difference and why does it matter? 

Biden mentioned those who are “suffering economic hardships, whether due to COVID-19 or entrenched inequalities in our system.” However, according to Reuters and The New Yorker, black people are more likely to die from the coronavirus than any other group in the United States. Joe Biden addressed the nation but also lost the chance to directly address the black population. 

The black vote is essential in the 2020 election.  For Joe Biden, this may be a missed opportunity to gain support from black voters, as many of these inequalities weigh heavier on black people than other minority groups. Furthermore, his recent controversy of questioning the blackness of non-Biden supporters affects his following. Now, black America questions whether Biden is going to fight for black issues or if he is simply fighting for a presidency.

As protests continue, all eyes are on Joe Biden.