Howard University professor Ravi Perry, Ph.D., believes that the political game is a long one.
And though he has expectations for the incoming Biden-Harris administration, the political science department chair recognizes some of the limitations to making all the headway necessary for Black folks’ success.
“Much of that progress is really just still going to be fixing all of the mess from the Trump years,” said Perry.
Nonetheless, Dr. Perry believes the president-elect and vice president-elect can still champion a Black agenda during their tenure. And that requires Biden and Harris explicitly talking about racial appeals.
“Don’t call them ‘urban issues.’ Don’t call them ‘challenges’ in the heartland of America. These are Black issues. And also frame them in a way that makes everyone understand that the challenges that Black folks face are challenges that America must address as a whole,” said Perry.
In his first book Black Mayors, White Majorities: The Balancing Act of Racial Politics, Perry breaks down how even if legislation passes that primarily perhaps targets African Americans, it also has a significant impact on everybody else.
“It’s a theory that I have called ‘universalizing the interest of African Americans,’” said Perry. And when it comes to the soon-to-be leaders of the free world, he knows exactly where President-Elect Joe Biden, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, and their team should begin prioritizing Black interests.
“They need to start by focusing on the core issues that surveys have indicated Black folks care about, which includes education, criminal justice, economic issues, and of course, healthcare.”
Watch in the video above as Perry outlines how this incoming administration can make it clear that Black folks are a priority within their first 100 days in office, ways to intentionally target Black communities through policies and programs, why a national discussion about Black intersectionality is necessary, and more.