Biden Aims To Advance Racial Equity With Executive Actions

27 Janvier, 2021, 11:55 | Auteur: Yves Courtet

And it's time to act now, not only because it's the right thing to do, but because if we do, we'll all be better off for it, Biden said at a White House ceremony to sign the executive order. "Today, I'll take action to advance racial equity and push us closer to that more flawless union we've always strived to be".

Biden described the move as the first step to "stop corporations from profiting" off of incarcerating inmates, and said it was "just the beginning of my administration's plan to address systemic problems in our criminal justice system". The executive order directs the Attorney General to decline to renew contracts with privately operated criminal facilities.

COVID-19 has further ripped a path of destruction through every community in America, but no one has been spared, but the devastation in communities of colour has been nothing short of stunning, Biden said.

Biden directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development in a memorandum to take steps to promote equitable housing policy.

According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, a little over 14,000 federal inmates are now in privately managed facilities in the country.

The more than 14,000 federal inmates housed at privately-managed facilities represent a fraction of the almost 152,000 federal inmates now incarcerated. That's 9% of total federal inmates. The order did not address contracts for private prisons by the Department of Homeland Security, which uses such facilities to detain immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Rashad Robinson, president of the national racial justice organization Color of Change, expressed disappointment that policing was not addressed in the executive action.

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The White House said the presidential memorandum on housing directs HUD to "examine the effects of the Trump administration's regulatory actions that undermined fair housing policies and laws", and the measure also "recognizes the central role the federal government has played implementing housing policies across the United States, from redlining to mortgage discrimination to destructive federal highway construction, that have had racially discriminatory impacts". Additionally, Biden will charge HHS with developing language and cultural guidance related to COVID-19, assuring that vaccine and health information from the federal government is available in more languages. It also directs the Department of Justice to work with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities "to prevent hate crimes and harassment against AAPIs".

Biden's executive action builds on orders he signed last week, including an order to rescind the 1776 Commission, a controversial panel formed by the Trump administration, apparently to challenge the New York Times's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, which was developed into a school curriculum about the origins and legacy of the slave trade in the U.S. Biden also will sign a statement recommitting the government to respecting tribal sovereignty and strengthening the relationship between the United States and Tribal Nations.

On Tuesday Biden said in the coming weeks he would reaffirm a federal "commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and accessibility". She cited a Citigroup study from last year that US gross domestic product lost $16 trillion over the last 20 years as a result of discriminatory practices in a range of areas, including in education and access to business loans.

"Building a more equitable economy is essential if Americans are going to compete and thrive in the 21st century", Rice added.

Black voters proved critical to Biden first in winning his party's presidential nomination and then in defeating Trump in the November 3 election.

Throughout his campaign and transition, Biden promised that his administration would keep issues of equity - as well as climate change, another issue he views as an existential crisis - in the shaping of all policy considerations. Last week, the Senate confirmed Lloyd Austin as the nation's first Black defence secretary.

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