*It’s just not realistic to expect or assume elected officials can change the hearts and minds of Americans when it comes to racial equity. However, it’s more than possible to change the rules that govern those issues and that’s exactly what Joe Biden did on Tuesday.
Specifically, Biden signed four executive orders meant to thwart discrimination against racial minorities, including a directive to ban any new Department of Justice contracts with private prisons and a requirement that the Department of Housing and Urban Development to buttress the implementation of the Fair Housing Act.
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Other orders direct all federal agencies to engage vigorously with Native American communities and Tribal governments, and condemn harassment and bias against Asian Americans, especially in the aftermath of the coronavirus.
“We’ve never fully lived up to the founding principles of this nation – to state the obvious – that all people are created equal,” Biden told reporters at the White House before signing the orders. “For too long, we’ve allowed a narrow, cramped view of the promise of this nation to fester.”
But instead of a “zero-sum” game – one in which one person’s success demands another’s failure – Americans need to understand that “when any one of us is held down, we’re all held back,” Biden added.
The president earlier dissolved the “1776 Commission,” a panel President Donald Trump established and which was critical of the civil rights movement, saying it had abandoned its initial “lofty ideals” with affirmative action and other policy goals. Biden also reinstated diversity and inclusion training for federal employees and contractors – training Trump had banned.
Keep in mind that Biden said that racial equality was a key element in his decision to run for president in 2020. He said the racism displayed at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally made him decide to launch a 2020 campaign.