In the wake of the “pandemic” Americans are wondering what will become of this 2020 presidential election. Bernie Sanders quietly dropped out of the race a few weeks ago, leaving voters to choose between Joe Biden and current president Donald Trump. Joe Biden has been relatively silent lately but Black America is asking for answers. Sean Combs expressed his willingness to withhold his vote if Joe Biden didn't make his intentions for Black America known. Many share the sentiment of the Music producer and are waiting for a response from Senator Biden as well.
Joe Biden did resurface after video of Ahmaud Arbery, the Black man in Brunswick Georgia chased down and killed by neighborhood vigilantes, caused an uproar in Black Media. Joe used his current platform to call out injustice toward Black Americans and while we appreciate that, Black America wants and needs much more. We need for the police and police chief's to held accountable for their actions, up to and including criminal charges and convictions. Joe missed an opportunity to assure Black Americans that he would bring change to local police departments.
In an interview last week, Joe was pressured by Charlamagne Tha God to speak specifically about his agenda for Black America. CTG brought up presidential nominee Biden's involvement in the execution of the “crack laws” and establishment of mandatory minimums beginning in 1984 while he was a state senator. He was also questioned about his involvement in establishing the “Three strikes rule” which disproportionately affected Black America, while under the Clinton administration in 1994.
Joe was able to justify his position in both cases citing that he was petitioned by the National Black Caucus to address the crime and drug addiction in the Black community revolving around the sale as use of crack cocaine. He claims that he agreed only because of the beneficial aspects of the laws, citing that in was in effort to improve the condition of Black communities nation wide. He also added that while under the Obama administration, changes were made by way of the Fair Sentencing Act in 2011, to balance out sentencing disparities between different nationalities for the same crimes, involving cocaine and crack. The FSA retroactively freed more than 40k Americans serving time for non-violent crimes.
Nevertheless, whatever his reason was for agreeing to the barbaric laws, former Vice President Biden has a chance to right his wrongs against Black America. This is an opportunity for Joe to be revolutionary as opposed to reactionary, as he appears to be. The way I see it, this is Joe's turn to fix what he broke and set Black America up for success.
CTG took the silent approach during the brief interview allowing Senator Biden to talk himself in and out of a bag. He listed all of the reasons to why he did what he did, but yet offered no resolution for any of it. As he wrapped up the interview with "The Breakfast Club" host, Joe Biden boldly told CTG that Black Americans aren't Black, if they are considering voting for Donald Trump.
Giving Joe the benefit of the doubt, I'll assume he is saying that he is the candidate that has Black America in mind. If that is the case, he should have no problem answering specific questions regarding Black America nor should he have a problem discussing real plans to correct it.
Since that interview aired, Joe Biden has attempted to clean up his statement regarding the Black vote and has released his “Lift Every Voice Plan”. Joe says his current agenda is aimed at creating a pathway to financial freedom, access to better education options and issues related to voter rights for Black America. I read the entire plan and was underwhelmed at the lack of specificity in executing the plan.
Countless Black Americans have been affected by the sentencing laws that were created to combat drug use and drug addiction in poor communities. Drug dealers and drug addicts are incarcerated at almost equal rates, leaving families torn apart due to one or both parents serving jail and prison time. Many parents are eventually reconnected with their families but not without having to face the shame of their past, on a daily basis.
In most instances, ex-offenders find themselves locked out of the necessary resources needed for basic survival. They are on average the lowest wage earners and the most poorly educated. They lack access to healthcare and are denied welfare assistance due to a criminal history. A criminal history can also hinder an ex-felon from leasing a home.
I believe that if Black Americans forced Joe Biden to address our issues, President Trump would be forced to engage in the conversation as well.
I encourage all righteous Black Americans that want to see elevation in our community, to comprise your own list of demands and make your voice heard. What change do you want to see in your community? What does your community need? What should we be getting in exchange for our votes?
The time is NOW to fix US.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM (Rehab not punishment)
An ex-offender should receive free access to GED programs and trade schools upon release from jail.
Temporary housing should be provided by the state, while ex-offenders complete their education program.
State welfare assistance and federal student aid should be made available after an ex-offender is released from jail.
Grants should be available for all small businesses that hire ex-offenders.
7 years after completing parole or probation, without any new offenses, an ex-offender should have his criminal history cleared as compliance with the statue of limitations,with no out of pocket expense. This should be federally mandated in order to stop states from opting-out. This would stop job and housing discrimination on the part of a criminal history.
Ex-offenders should have the right to sit for state license exams without prejudice
2nd amendment rights should be restored when an ex-offender has a clean criminal history
Health insurance should be open and available to the public, separate from employment.
This allows entrepreneurs to access health insurance plans.
Separating health insurance from employment gives Americans the right to choose their own plans and doctors.
Special grants should be available to purchase dilapidated homes or homes with unpaid taxes.
This would encourage the purchase of land in often destitute areas which would in-turn raise the amount of property taxes paid into that area.
That money would be used as always, to fund schools and city services in those areas.
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