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Black America Still Face Disparities When It Comes To Wages, Maternal Health and Incarceration Rates





In Thursday's first round debate , on the topic of African Americans, Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden, President Biden acknowledged the significant strides in reducing unemployment among Black Americans. Still, Mr. Biden also emphasized that more work is needed to address ongoing disparities. Mr. Biden has highlighted the importance of tackling issues such as wage gaps, maternal health disparities, and high incarceration rates. According to Mr. Biden, his administration aims to implement policies that promote equitable economic growth, improve healthcare access, and reform the criminal justice system to address these disparities comprehensively.


Addressing systemic issues such as wage disparities, healthcare inequities, and criminal justice reform is a critical concern for the Black community, which has historically supported the Democratic Party. Should the black community seek other parties that can deliver on their word if every presidential debate echoes the same rhetoric no matter who is in office? The Democratic Party has historically received significant support from the Black community, especially since the civil rights movement, due to its advocacy for civil rights, social justice, and economic equality.


Since 1964 the Civil Rights Bill was signed, we have been discussing jobs, wage gaps, and justice. How long does the black community have to wait for the results? The struggle for equality and justice is ongoing, and while progress has been made since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, significant challenges remain. In 2024, The Black community continues to face systemic barriers that require sustained and comprehensive efforts. Advocacy, grassroots movements, political engagement, and economic empowerment are all critical strategies for driving the change needed to achieve true equality.


Criticizing the Democratic Party for its shortcomings in addressing systemic issues like wage disparities, healthcare inequities, and criminal justice reform is not an endorsement of Republican candidates. Instead, it is an expression of frustration and a call for accountability and more effective action. The strategic action plan should focus on specific issues and vote for candidates, regardless of party, who have clear, actionable plans to address those issues.


In the recent debate, it would have been helpful if Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden had explicitly spoken about what their administration has done for the Black and Brown community. This would have allowed citizens to make an informed decision.


After nearly four years in office, the Biden administration has introduced several initiatives and policies to address the needs and concerns of Black and Brown Americans.


American Rescue Plan: This relief package included direct financial assistance, expanded unemployment benefits, and funding for small businesses, with specific provisions to support minority-owned businesses. It provided significant economic relief to low-income families and small businesses, many of which Black and Brown individuals owned.


Expanding the Affordable Care Act: The Biden administration has worked to expand healthcare coverage through increased subsidies to make insurance more affordable for low-income families. This has helped reduce the number of uninsured individuals in minority communities, improving access to healthcare.


Executive Orders on Policing: Biden has issued executive orders aimed at addressing police reform, including the establishment of a national database to track police misconduct and the promotion of community-based policing strategies. These measures aim to increase accountability and reduce instances of police violence in minority communities.


During the Trump administration, several legislative initiatives and executive actions were implemented that had varying impacts on the Black and Brown communities.


Opportunity Zones (2017): Created under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones aimed to stimulate economic development in distressed communities by providing tax incentives for investments in designated low-income areas. While intended to benefit economically disadvantaged areas, including many Black and Brown communities, the effectiveness and equitable distribution of benefits have been subject to debate.


First Step Act (2018): This bipartisan criminal justice reform bill aimed to reduce mandatory minimum sentences, expand rehabilitative programs, and improve conditions for federal prisoners. It resulted in the early release of thousands of federal inmates, many of whom were from minority communities disproportionately affected by harsh sentencing laws.


Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Trump signed an executive order prioritizing support for HBCUs to increase funding and institutional resources. While specific legislative impact varied, the executive order signaled a commitment to supporting these institutions, which play a crucial role in higher education for Black students.


Education Policy and School Choice: The administration supported school choice initiatives, including expanding access to charter schools and promoting voucher programs. These policies were intended to provide more educational options for minority students. These policies aimed to address disparities in educational access and quality, particularly in underserved urban areas with large Black and Brown populations.


In closing, knowledge of existing laws and policies empowers individuals and community organizations to advocate for their rights and interests effectively. Establishing a collective agenda that transcends partisan divides and prioritizes the best interests of the Black community is a powerful strategy for advancing equity, justice, and prosperity. By uniting around shared priorities, advocating effectively, and holding elected officials accountable, the community can drive meaningful change and ensure its voice is heard and respected in the political arena.


Creating an independent community foundation within the Black community is a proactive step towards self-sufficiency, empowerment, and resilience. By leveraging local resources, expertise, and collective action, these foundations can drive positive change, address systemic challenges, and build a stronger, more inclusive future for all community members.



References


  • American Rescue Plan: The White House

  • American Rescue Plan: CNBC

  • Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: USA Today

  • Raising the Minimum Wage: The Washington Post

  • Expanding the Affordable Care Act: Health Affairs

  • Maternal Health Initiatives: Congressional Black Caucus

  • Executive Orders on Policing: Reuters

  • The First Step Act: The Brennan Center for Justice

  • Funding for HBCUs: The White House

  • Affordable Housing Initiatives: HUD

  • Economic Equity Initiatives: The White House

  • Health Equity: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Education Equity: U.S. Department of Education

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