By STACY M. BROWN
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden outlined his commitment to help increase opportunities and recognize the plight of African Americans in an exclusive editorial with Black Press USA. The 1,047-word column published Oct. 19 resonated loudly with African American publishers and national board members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
“There is a legacy of racism and inequality that lives still in our institutions, our laws and in too many people’s hearts that makes it harder for Black people to succeed,” Biden wrote. “These are facts in the United States of America in 2020, and we must all do more to move our nation closer to the ideals inlaid at our founding – that all women and men are created equal.”
Karen Carter Richards, NNPA national chair and Houston Forward Times publisher, called Biden’s editorial “spot on.”
“Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden points out so many critical issues, or as he put it, ‘pandemics’ that continue to plague the Black community,” she detailed.
“Just like he also pointed out, these issues can’t be addressed by just putting them on paper, there must be a dedicated plan and commitment to address these important issues immediately. It is refreshing to hear a presidential candidate publicly express his desire and commitment to do so.”
Biden’s plan included:
- Tackling student debt and investing more in HBCUs.
- Empower Black-owned small businesses with short-term loans during the pandemic and long-term investments to help them build back better.
- Tackle the racial homeownership gap and restore the steps he and President Obama took toward eradicating housing discrimination.
- Fix our upside-down tax system to finally reward work, not wealth.
- Fight like hell to defend the American family’s health care … the Affordable Care Act and build on it.
While the Atlanta Voice doesn’t endorse political candidates, its publisher, Janis Ware, said she’s impressed with Biden’s plan.
“Having a presidential candidate outline a plan that speaks to African American people directly through the pages of the Black Press and our social media channels is a bold and powerful move,” stated Ware, the NNPA’s first vice-chair.
“It’s a posture that is unprecedented and bold.”
Fran Farrer, NNPA second vice-chair and publisher and CEO of the County News in Charlotte, North Carolina, applauded Biden for what she called his faith in the ability of Black newspapers to carry the former vice president’s message.
“It not only speaks volumes to his character, but his commitment to lifting every voice in Black and Brown America,” she remarked. “His plans, along with those of Vice-Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris, will work to support improved health care and available health care for those without fair treatment by the justice system.
“[Biden’s plan] contains an increased fair minimum wage that allows families to provide a roof over their heads, feed, clothes, educate their families and reduce the fear of every encounter of police officers across the United States of America.”
NNPA National Secretary and Mississippi Link publisher, Jackie Hampton, also praised his plan.
“I feel that [former] Vice President Joe Biden’s plan to ‘Lift Every Voice’ in Black America will give new voice and new hope when hearing and singing what is known as the Black National Anthem,” Hampton stated.
“Biden has proven over and over again that he understands the plight of Blacks in America and with passion and commitment, he wants to rid the country of the injustice and discrimination which we as a race continue to endure,” Hampton offered.
“As the hymnal, which was once a poem, read:
‘Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.’
“I am hopeful that Biden’s plan will lead us to the victory we so proudly sing about.”
In the crucial battleground state of Florida, Bobby Henry, the publisher of the Westside Gazette in Ft. Lauderdale, said he was pleased that Biden plans to appoint the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.
“I also want to see where he would force police departments to hire Black psychologists or psychiatrists who would interview potential candidates and weed them out before they got on the force,” Henry strongly voiced. “Biden’s ideas are admirable. I think, however, it’s time for all of Black America to be included in making plans for Black America. Not just a hand-picked few.”
Rod Doss, the editor and publisher of the New Pittsburgh Courier in the important swing state of Pennsylvania, proclaimed that Biden’s plan for Black America “addresses many immediate issues of concern facing African Americans across this country.”
“As Biden states, we are in the midst of four simultaneous crises that are especially hard on Black Americans,” Doss responded.
“This will require a leader that understands and can implement solutions to address the many systemic injustices waged against African Americans. Joe Biden says he is that leader and he needs our vote.”
Biden’s column can be found at https://dallasexaminer.com/category/editorial/perspectives.
“As my friend John Lewis used his final words to remind us, ‘Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America,’” he concluded. “We cannot be tired. We cannot be hopeless. The choice in this election couldn’t be more stark, and we must vote for the future we want for every single one of our children. I’m ready to fight for you and your families, and I hope to earn your vote.”
Robyn H. Jimenez/The Dallas Examiner contributed to this report.