Any bit of social progress takes time to gain–however, when it comes to Black people’s progression in America, there’s always a “we will get to that, eventually.”
You have to wait your turn. That frustration has been felt with the various pieces of voting rights legislation and an inability for the Democratic party to get anything done. African-Americans were instrumental in President Joe Biden’s win, and a year later, 48% of Black voters feel the current administration isn’t addressing their needs. President Biden is feeling the heat on this as well as he spoke in a candid admission during his first press conference of the year that he can do more.
From The Hill:
“I have not been out in the community nearly enough. I’ve been here an awful lot,” Biden said from the White House. “I find myself where I don’t have a chance to look people in the eye, because of both COVID and things that are happening in Washington, to be able to go out and do the things that I’ve always been able to do pretty well. Connect with people. Let them take a measure of my sincerity. Let them take a measure of who I am.”
“But I think that’s a problem that is my own making by not communicating as much as I should have.”
It’s good President Biden has the self-awareness to know he has to do better in this area. After all, it was his victory speech where he stated, “The African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.” To be fair, he has done some things that helped Black Americans during his first year in office–The American Rescue Plan, child tax credit, and his executive order signed to increase and improve educational opportunities for Black Americans.
We still await much-needed police reform and restoration of voter rights. Much of that lies with Sens. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema–the two champions of the filibuster. The President is meeting stubborn resistance from two of his constituents, so we can’t lay it all on his shoulder. But there is one thing President Biden can do: to realize the Republican party has no intention of making things better or helping him pass his agenda.
The following quote from The Independent sounds like somebody who lent money to an unreliable person who is hurt because he never got the money back:
“One thing I haven’t been able to do so far is get my Republican friends to get in the game of making things better in this country,” Biden acknowledged.
“I did not anticipate that there would be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn’t get anything done,” Biden said. “Think about this: What are Republicans for? What are they for?”
Now, President, this is where you lost me. Has the President ignored both January 6 and the many Republicans who either denied or continue to question if 2020's election is legitimate? These are things that happened before his inauguration day. Biden was the Vice President when Sen. Mitch McConnell refused to take up a Supreme Court nominee during the Obama administration.
In asking what Republicans are for, President Biden asked what McConnell is proposing to make things better–the answer is nothing. At least not anything to help make Biden win. Even the President sees this as well:
I actually like Mitch McConnell. We like one another. But he has one straightforward objective: make sure that there’s nothing I do that makes me look good in the mind.
Biden has to realize that he is not dealing with a party where he could have coffee and hash things out like when he was a senator. The Republican party is insulated by an obstructionist agenda that seeks to call every election into question that they lose and make sure they pass voting restriction bills to make that so. Biden chooses to play with people who rig the game and love doing it–that naive sense of optimism hurts Black Americans everywhere.
Everybody has had a friend in which you try to see the good. No matter how many times they mess up, you give them another chance because there is a tiny grain of hope they can turn it around. President Biden doesn’t have the time to take the Republican party back–they never wanted him in the first place. If the President wants to turn positive with Black voters, he must first acknowledge those to whom he wants to extend an olive branch are also those who choose to hate us.