In 1993, Joe Biden took to the Senate floor to warn of predators in society that needed to be taken out.
“We have predators on our streets that society has in fact, in part because of its neglect, created,” Biden said. “They are beyond the pale many of those people, beyond the pale,” Biden continued. “And it’s a sad commentary on society. We have no choice but to take them out of society.”
In 1994, Joe Biden helped craft the federal crime bill, which would lead to the mass incarceration of Black folks. We can argue all day about whether the crime bill, which would become the first federal “three strikes” law, disproportionately targeted toward Black folks. Hell, we can even argue if it led to the mass incarceration of Black folks, but it did and I’m right.
In the following years, Biden would support and vote for laws that would spend billions in funding for state prisons and he “was also a longtime proponent of a Police Officer’s Bill of Rights measure while serving as a senator, which critics have said would have made investigating police officers for misconduct more difficult,” CNN reports.
But why keep talking about the past, amirite? Today is a new day and Biden has done the hard work of helping Americans forget who he used to be. So, let’s celebrate the new Biden, whose pen is on go mode and who can’t stop signing shit.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden is slated to sign a series of executive actions around “equity” that will focus on “policing reform, prison reform and public housing,” according to CNN.
“America has never lived up to its founding promise of equality for all, but we’ve never stopped trying. Today, I’ll take action to advance racial equity and push us closer to that more perfect union we’ve always strived to be,” the president tweeted on Tuesday morning.
“The president will issue an executive order that will create a policing commission, something he promised he’d create if elected to office,” CNN reports.
Another order Biden will sign will reinstate an Obama-era policy barring the transfer of military equipment to local police departments. The order signed in 2015 prevented federal agencies from supplying local police with certain kinds of military-grade equipment, like grenade launchers and bayonets. That order came in the wake of criticism of a “militarized” police response to civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, over the death of Michael Brown — an unarmed Black teenager fatally shot by a police officer. Trump lifted the equipment ban in 2017.
The President will also seek to improve prison conditions and eliminate the use of private prisons. Biden had campaigned on eliminating the federal government’s use of private prisons.
Biden will also issue an order disavowing discrimination against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, which, the document says, comes “particularly in light of rhetoric around the Covid-19 pandemic.” He will issue a memorandum directing Housing and Urban Development to take steps to promote equitable housing politics.
Even Biden knows and admitted that he fucked up.
“You know I’ve been in this fight for a long time. It goes not just to voting rights. It goes to the criminal justice system,” Biden said on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2019, CNN reports. “I haven’t always been right. I know we haven’t always gotten things right, but I’ve always tried.”
See, why can’t y’all stop talking about the crime bill and just be happy?