Here's What President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris Have Done For The Black Community

With the election five months away, we take a look at their accomplishments.

Despite the rampant misinformation on social media, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris's efforts go beyond initiatives like addressing student loan debt, commemorating Juneteenth as a federal holiday, and issuing executive orders on racial justice. Additional concrete actions and significant policies have been implemented, but these are often overlooked in the clickbait echo chamber.

From tackling systemic racism in home appraisals to enacting the historic Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, the Biden-Harris administration has taken a multifaceted approach to support the Black community. As the election approaches, it's crucial to celebrate wins and understand legislative impact beyond social media chatter. Here are five key accomplishments that you should know.

Home Appraisals Discrimination

A Brookings Institution study from December 2022 revealed that homes situated in predominantly Black neighborhoods are nearly twice as likely to be appraised below the contract price compared to those in predominantly white areas. The Action Plan to Advance Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) outlines a strategy to combat this discrimination. The plan addresses the historical role of racism in property valuation, examines current biases in appraisal practices, and proposes actions for government and industry stakeholders to implement. It includes commitments from various agencies to eliminate appraisal bias and promote equitable valuation, with ongoing assessments and policy recommendations to enhance fairness in the housing market.

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The Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act

Anna Moneymaker

Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells delivers remarks alongside U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S Vice President Kamala Harris, after signing H.R. 55, the “Emmett Till Antilynching Act” in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 29, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan legislation labels lynching a federal hate crime.

The Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, named in memory of the 14-year-old Black child brutally lynched in 1955, finally became law in 2022 after more than a century of efforts to criminalize lynching in the United States. The Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act classifies lynching as a hate crime, carrying a penalty of up to 30 years in prison. Despite over 200 attempts to pass similar laws since the first anti-lynching bill was introduced in 1900, these efforts were consistently thwarted due to political opposition. The passage of this Act symbolizes a long-overdue acknowledgment of the historical and ongoing impact of lynching on Black communities in America.

Judicial Appointments

Nancy G. Abudu, nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit, testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on judicial nominations in Dirksen Building on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

President Joe Biden has made historic strides by appointing more Black women to federal appeals courts than all his predecessors combined. Thus far, this group includes Nancy Abudu, DeAndrea Benjamin, Julianna Childs, Tiffany Cunningham, Stephanie Davis, Dana Douglas, Arianna Freeman, Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, Eunice Lee, Tamika Montgomery-Reeves, Doris Pryor,  Holly Thomas and, of course, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. By December 2023, nearly two-thirds (96 out of 145) of Biden's judicial appointees were from racial or ethnic minority groups, surpassing the diversity achieved by any previous president at this stage in their tenure. These appointments are crucial as judges serve as the guardians of democracy, considering the previous president declared he would be a dictator for a day if reelected. 

Racial Wealth Gap

Under the Biden-Harris administration, the wage gap between Black and white Americans has narrowed to its smallest margin since at least the 1980s. This progress marks a shift from the early 2000s when, according to The New York Times, the disparity in earnings between Black and white workers in the United States was as pronounced as it had been in 1950. Additionally, under Biden-Harris, wage growth for Black workers has surpassed white workers for the first time in decades. As of December 2023, the wage differential between white and Black workers is approximately 13 percent, the smallest gap ever recorded. Although there is still more work to be done, Black wealth has increased by 60% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Investment In Black-Owned Businesses

Luis Alvarez

Black-owned businesses suffered significantly under the Trump administration. In cities like Durham, North Carolina, the pandemic hit the Black community especially hard, leading to the closure of approximately 25 percent of the city's Black-owned businesses. However, President Biden's initiatives, including the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act, have sparked a surge in the establishment of Black-owned businesses, with the fastest growth seen in over 30 years. From 2019 to 2022, the proportion of Black business owners has more than doubled. By September 2023, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) had issued over 4,000 loans to Black-owned businesses through its flagship 7(a) and 504 loan programs in Fiscal Year 2023, nearly three times the number of loans made in Fiscal Year 2020.The Biden-Harris administration has implemented a suite of legislative actions that extend well beyond symbolic gestures, actively addressing some of the systemic inequities. As the nation gears up for the upcoming election, it is imperative to move beyond the noise of misinformation and acknowledge these critical strides. The ongoing challenge is to celebrate these achievements and ensure the momentum continues.

Clay Cane is a SiriusXM radio host and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Grift: The Downward Spiral of Black Republicans From the Party of Lincoln to the Cult of Trump.

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