Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President

What will Biden do to combat these issues if he is elected President of the United States? Jasmine Razeghi examines his OpEd published in the USA TODAY.

Vice President Joe Biden published an Op-ED in the USA TODAY that addressed systemic racism and police brutality.

In this Op-Ed, Biden wrote that “Trump’s rhetoric is inflaming the racial divides in our country” and that the racism embedded in the law and in our institutions should end. 

He acknowledged that the heinous image of George Floyd’s murder by police with a knee on his neck was not a one-time incident. 

“For too long, black Americans have lived with a knee on their neck — not only institutional violence, but daily injustices like having the police called for sitting in a coffee shop or watching birds in the park,” he wrote. 

Biden applauded the recent ‘Amy Cooper’ bill recently proposed in New York to punish those who call 911 in a race-based, gender-based, or religion-based situation where nothing criminal occurred. He did not solely focus his Op-Ed on obvious forms of anti-Blackness in America, such as police brutality. Biden also addressed the microaggressions that contribute impact the struggle of being Black in the United States, such as these false 911 calls.

Economic Racism 

Biden further recognized the economic disparities among Black people in the U.S. He addressed the rejection of Black entrepreneurs at a higher rate for loans than white entrepreneurs. In particular, the former Vice President wrote about the need to double the State Small Business Credit Initiative, expand New Markets Tax Credit, and expand Small Business Administration programs. 

He then addressed housing disparities among Black Americans: the gap between white and Black ownership, gentrification, discriminatory lending practices, and the elimination of exclusionary zoning laws. Those policies and trends included in his compilation were what he felt needed to change to ensure financial stability and the development of Black communities. 

Joe Biden criticized Trump and wrote about how he removed the progress made to the issues he addressed. An example Biden cited was Trump’s suspension of the Obama-Biden administration’s rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. 

Biden also called for community when he addressed the need to work with state, local, and tribal school leaders in addition to the presidents of HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions. He hoped that a community effort could improve diversity in teachers and noted that leadership and institutions in America, “must look like America”. A community effort should also address the student debt crisis and underfunded institutions, Biden added.  

Don’t Defund Police, Support Reforms

“Don’t defund police, support reforms,” Biden wrote. He applauded the many reforms proposed by the Democratic Party now, which include a ban on chokeholds and the requirement that officers receive training to combat any potential biases. 

In order to hold both the state and local government accountable, he insisted that the Department of Justice must have subpoena power to investigate misconduct in police departments. The Department of Justice would then require those police departments in question to reform their policies and protocol. In his article, Biden made it clear he does not support federal funding for police departments that violate rights or perpetuate violence. He also made it clear that he would not support defunding the police. Instead, he suggested increased resources for police departments and that federal funding be dependent on their follow through with meaningful reform. 

Here’s Where Biden Thinks the Money Should Go

Rather than taking away money from the police, Biden suggested an increase. He went on to write, “I’ve long been a firm believer in the power of community policing — getting cops out of their cruisers and building relationships with the people and the communities they are there to serve and protect.” He proposed a $300 million-dollar investment towards community policing, which would be used towards the purchase of body cameras and an increase in diversity on the police forces across the country. Along with his proposal, he added that investment was necessary to address issues like mental health, drug treatment and prevention, and homelessness. 

Lastly, Joe Biden invoked his own leadership in the context of America’s current crises. He addressed the need to take on injustice, as he wrote, “it will require all of us to examine our own conduct, our deeply ingrained habits, and our own thinking. I’m ready to do that work, starting on day one. Nothing less is acceptable from an American president.”

Instead of a written insult aimed at the President and a comprehensive list of everything he did wrong in these chaotic times, Biden instead insisted that if he was the President of the United States, that he would do what was right. 

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