Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and Dion Johnson. We say their names everyday and stand in solidarity with the modern day freedom fighters. Racial injustice isn't a new problem in America, but the most recent string of police brutality and acts of white supremacy have brought to light how deeply rooted systemic racism is in America. The candidate chosen in the November presidential election will have a significant influence on the eradication of systemic racism though, and Joe Biden is the best option for achieving racial equality.
The November election is significant in the fight for equality because it is a key opportunity for people like us to vote and influence the government. The late United States Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis once said that “the vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to make change in a democratic society,” but how do you know who to vote for? You may want to consider the actions of the two main political candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, along with their promises for the future before answering that question.
Donald Trump has an extensive history of making racist and offensive comments towards multiple minority groups. These comments range from calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals to making offensive comments about women's menstrual cycles on live TV. He took this discrimination to the next level by hesitating to condemn acts of white supremacy in 2016, repeatedly retweeting messages from white supremacists and neo-Nazi members through his first term and instituting the “Muslim ban” in 2017.
Finally, on June 1, 2020, Donald Trump ordered the National Guard to forcefully move a group of peaceful protesters in order to obtain a photo of himself holding a Bible on the steps of Lincoln Memorial. The protesters were standing in Lafayette Square, peacefully protesting the murder of George Floyd, and were apparently in the way of the president’s photo shoot. In order to clear a path through the protesters, Trump had the National Guard tear gas the protesters, shoot them with rubber bullets and physically move them, even when they were doing nothing wrong.
His history of racism goes back further than his presidency too. In 1973, Trump Management Inc. was sued by the Department of Justice for violating the Fair Housing Act, when he refused to rent to Black tenants. Later, in 2005, while he was a host on the hit TV show, “The Apprentice,” Trump publicly pitched segregating contestants into white teams and Black teams.
Comparatively, voting for Joe Biden would be equivalent to voting for change. From 2009 to 2017, Joe Biden served as the vice president to Barack Obama and helped institute the Affordable Care Act, cut the rate of uninsured African Americans by one-third, helped decrease the amount of falsely incarcerated African Americans and helped set a tone of racial equality in the world.
On his own, Biden has not done as much for racial equality as he did with Obama, and his resume may be a little short, but who would you rather be representing you for the next four years: someone who publicly disrespects minority communities or someone who is on your side but hasn’t done much yet?
Biden also looks ahead and makes promises for an equal future while Trump does not. Biden has promised to include racial equality throughout his campaign and specifically within the fourth pillar of his “Build Back Better” economic plan. This economic plan targets a variety of funding categories, such as investments, innovation, education and clean energy, and includes racial equity as a key consideration at each step. Comparatively, Trump has made minimal to no comments about how he would emphasize equity in America.
By looking at the past actions and future promises of the two main political candidates for the 2020 presidential election, you can see that one aims to progress racial equity and one aims to progress white supremacy. While you may not personally like Joe Biden, voting for him in November is the best way to achieve change.