Former Vice President and Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has a great op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that’s worth a full read but here’s a little taste:
The truth of our nation is that too often, the color of your skin alone can endanger your life and, for far too long, systemic racism has oppressed communities of color in the United States.
Black and brown communities must no longer be the only ones to bear the weight of pushing for change. No one can stay silent. No one can ignore injustice.
It’s long past time for our nation to deal with systemic racism, including its contributions to growing economic inequality. We must seize this moment of opportunity to address all the issues that have denied the promise of this nation to so many for so long. Let’s use this moment of urgency to finally find the path forward.
History teaches us that our darkest moments have produced some of our greatest progress. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments followed the Civil War. The greatest economy in the history of the world grew out of the Great Depression. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 came in the tracks of Bull Connor’s vicious attack dogs unleashed on those pushing for change. Let us make this, too, a moment of action to deliver long-overdue, concrete policies to reverse systemic racism, and to propel us across this turbulent threshold into an era of true equality and opportunity.
If elected, I am committed to establishing a national police oversight commission within 100 days of taking office. We need to implement real community policing and ensure that every police department in the country undertakes a comprehensive review of their hiring, their training, and their de-escalation practices, with the federal government providing the tools and resources needed to implement reforms. But, we cannot wait for new leadership to make reforms. Congress should take action immediately to outlaw chokeholds, stop the transfer of weapons of war to local police forces, improve oversight and accountability, and create a model use-of-force standard.
The whole piece is absolutely worth the read. Biden has been keeping the focus on the need for real police and criminal justice reform after George Floyd’s murder by members of the Minneapolis police. Biden hasn’t been shy about also hitting Trump on this:
Former Vice President Joe Biden sharply criticized President Donald Trump for invoking George Floyd's name as the President was taking a victory lap over lower unemployment numbers.
During remarks at the White House Rose Garden on Friday, Trump said, “Hopefully George is looking down and saying this is a great thing that's happening for our country. (It's) a great day for him. It's a great day for everybody.” Floyd was killed last month after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. His death set off a wave of protests against police brutality across the country.Later that day, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee called Trump's comments “despicable.”“George Floyd's last words — 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe' — have echoed all across this nation, quite frankly, all around the world. For the President to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd, I frankly think it's despicable,” Biden said, speaking from Delaware State University, a public historically black university in Dover.The former vice president continued, “And the fact that he did so on the day when black unemployment rose, Hispanic unemployment rose, black youth unemployment skyrocketed, tells you everything you need to know about this man and what he really cares about.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, accused President Donald Trump of “spiking the ball” Friday by celebrating improving jobs numbers when 20 million people are still unemployed.
“Donald Trump still doesn’t get it,” Biden said at Delaware State University, a historically black school, in Dover. “He’s out there spiking the ball completely oblivious to the tens of millions of people who are facing the greatest struggle of their lives. These folks aren’t feeling any less pain today than they were yesterday.”
His speech came on a day of improving job and unemployment figures that beat the projections of many economists. The unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, down from 14.7% in April. And the economy gained 2.5 million jobs, after 20.5 million were lost in April.
Trump celebrated the gains in a Rose Garden news conference Friday morning, saying the economy is making “a big comeback” after being decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden congratulated those who found jobs. But he said there were still 13 million fewer jobs than when he and former President Barack Obama left office. Hispanic unemployment is four times higher than “when Trump botched his response to the pandemic,” Biden said.
“It’s time for him to step out of his own bunker and look at the consequences of his words and his actions,” Biden said. “Let’s be clear. A president who takes no responsibility for costing millions and millions of Americans their jobs, deserves no credit when a fraction return.”
The Atlantic has a great piece out that proves that Biden is willing to adapt quickly to become the leader we need right now:
In the face of upheaval, he’s given reason to hope that the traits that were his supposed weaknesses could prove to be his great strengths. If one of the ultimate purposes of protest is to push politicians, he’s shown himself a politician willing to be pushed. His tendency to channel the zeitgeist has supplied him with the potential to meet a very difficult moment.
One of the alleged truisms about older people is that they are cemented into ideological place. Their minds are said to have limited ability to switch political lanes. But in the past few months, Biden has altered his worldview. At the beginning of his candidacy, he announced himself as the tribune of normalcy. Donald Trump was a pathogen that had attacked the American host—and Biden would provide the cleansing presence that would permit a reversion to a pre-Charlottesville status quo.
What was so striking about his speech in Philadelphia was that it acknowledged that he had gotten it wrong. The country couldn’t return to a prelapsarian state of tolerance, because one didn’t exist. “I wish I could say that hate began with Donald Trump and will end with him. It didn’t and it won’t. American history isn’t a fairy tale with a guaranteed happy ending.” Faith in progress is the nostrum of liberal politics, yet Biden broke with that faith in Philadelphia, and by so doing, he seemed to concede his own failure to appreciate the depths of American racism.
Since the beginning of quarantine, Biden has been chided for disappearing from view—and he receives strangely little media attention when he does rear his head. Over the past few days, for example, he’s treated the protests with deference, something cable news has largely ignored. When he met with activists who berated the Obama administration’s record on race, he didn’t react defensively. Instead, he studiously took notes. The relatively few images that circulate show him engaged in the empathetic poses that so often seem overwrought, but that also project openness and respect. In a church in Wilmington, Delaware, he dropped to his knee, a position obviously reminiscent of Colin Kaepernick but also a stance of self-abasement in the face of awe-inspiring anger.
And according to NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, not only is Trump suffering in the polls, Biden is making some serious inroads:
As his disapproval shifts, Trump is falling short in the head-to-head matchup in the November election with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The former vice president leads Trump, according to the poll, 50% to 43%.
Of course, Hillary Clinton led in many polls in 2016, and the election is still five months away. But Biden being at 50% and up outside the margin of error is noteworthy.
Biden, it appears, has made inroads with some key groups, like suburban voters, whites, independents and men, and he's beating Trump in this poll by wider margins than Clinton did with women and voters under 45:Suburban: In 2016, according to exit polls, Trump won suburban voters by 4 points; Biden leads in this poll by 18 with them.
Whites: Trump won them by 20 points; Trump leads Biden in the poll by only 5.
Independents: Trump won them by 4; Biden now leads with them by the same margin.
Men: Trump won them by 11, but only leads Biden by 4 in the poll.
Women: Clinton won them by 13 points; Biden leads Trump by 18 with them.
Under 45: Clinton won them by 14; Biden leads with them by 22.
Like in other polls, there's also a softening for Trump with older voters. He won voters 45 and older, for example, by 8 points in 2016, but is ahead in this poll with them by just 4. And he leads with baby boomers, those age 56 to 74, by just 1 point.
For all the criticism Biden has received from some corners for his policies on race and criminal justice, he leads Trump 88% to 9% with black voters in the poll, nearly the exact margin Clinton received in 2016.
Biden is also far and away seen as best, between him and Trump, to handle race relations in the country 52% to 34%.
The one group Biden could stand to see improvement with, however, is Latinos. He didn't have much luck with them in the primary campaign, as many chose Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over him. And in this poll, he leads with them by 24 points, but Clinton won them by 38.
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