Former Vice President Joe Biden released a plan Monday for reducing systemic racial disparities for African Americans in his campaign for president.

“Race-neutral policies are not a sufficient response to race-based disparities. We need to tackle systemic racism head-on and ensure everyone has a fair shot at the American dream,” Biden tweeted Monday.

The plan addressees economic disparities and small-business access to credit, as well as inequality in health and housing across the United States. It also calls for universal broadband access and a federal review of systematic misconduct in local police departments and prosecutors’ offices.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee to challenge GOP President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election, calls for more COVID-19 rescue funds for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and to boost the ability of churches to apply for non-profit group loans in the Paycheck Protection Program.

The pandemic rescue program, which dispersed $511 billion in small-business loans, left smaller and minority-owned businesses behind, according to a report by the Center for Responsible Lending.

The plan would also shore up Obama-era protections for minority firms that bid on government contracts, including “unbundling” federal bids, a practice which shuts out smaller bidders, he said.

Biden also proposes a onetime $15,000 first-time home-buying tax credit, applied at the time of purchase, and a national standard for home appraisals to counter lower appraisal values in non-white neighborhoods. Biden also proposes a return of Obama-era housing discrimination legal protections.

Because many front-line “essential” workers in the COVID-19 pandemic are people of color, Biden’s plan calls for improved virus testing, federal workplace safety standards and premium pay and paid sick leave for front-line employees. The plan also calls for a national minimum wage of $15 per hour.

Biden’s education plan calls for subsidies of up to $18 billion for secondary education institutions identified as historically black and minority-serving universities that could subsidize two years of tuition each for lower-income and middle-class students.

Biden’s Super-Tuesday primary win over Bernie Sanders was attributed to African- American voters in Southern U.S. states like South Carolina.

Biden has committed to picking a woman as his vice presidential running-mate. Women of color are among the possibilities, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, Florida U.S. Rep. Val Demings and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.Trump criticized Biden in a tweet Monday.

“I’ve done more in less than 4 years than Biden’s done in more than 40 years, including for Black America,” Trump tweeted. “Biden has been a part of every failed decision for decades. Bad Trade Deals, Endless Wars, you name it, he has shown a complete lack of leadership. He’s weak & shot!!!”

Trump has pointed out how his administration has boosted funding of historically black colleges and universities and that pre-pandemic unemployment numbers for African Americans were historically low.

In his 2016 campaign, Trump told black voters that Democrats “take you for granted.”

Trump rescheduled his first post-COVID campaign rally from the Juneteenth holiday in Tulsa, Okla., the site of a massacre of African Americans in 1921.

“[We’re] changing the date out of respect for the holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents,” Trump said.

Copyright 2020 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.


This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.

Rating: 3.0/5. From 10 votes.
Please wait...