Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a series of executive orders that seek to be the beginning of a titanic effort to eradicate systemic racism in the United States, a country that is still experiencing the hangover from the largest wave of racial protests in half a century. The presidential decrees are focused on strengthening laws against discrimination against minorities in housing issues, combating xenophobia towards Asian Americans and increasing the sovereignty of Native American tribes. One particularly well-received measure was the elimination of the Justice Department's contracts with private prisons, seen as a step toward fairness before the criminal justice system.
“I ran for president because I believe we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. And the simple truth is that our soul will be troubled as long as systemic racism is allowed to persist (…) it is corrosive and destructive, ”said the president at the White House on Tuesday.
Fulfilling one of his promises, Biden got rid of the "harmful" and "offensive" Commission 1776, a committee formed by the Government of Donald Trump against the "false and fashionable ideologies" that teach the history of the country in schools. as one of "oppression and victimhood." Historians came out en masse to reject the commission that purported to encourage "patriotic education" in schools. "Unity and healing must begin with understanding and truth, not with ignorance and lies," said the Democrat.
Racial inequality is a palpable scourge in the United States in matters of all kinds. One of the biggest concerns for African Americans has to do with fair access to housing. Executive orders signed by Biden will oblige the Department of Housing and Urban Development to take necessary steps to "repair racially discriminatory federal housing policies that have contributed to wealth inequality for generations," according to a White House statement. .
The new president hinted that this was just the start in his efforts to heal the open wounds of racism in the country and recalled the death of George Floyd, a victim of police brutality who became a symbol of the massive demonstrations that swept the country last summer. "Those eight minutes and 46 seconds that took the life of George Floyd opened the eyes of millions of Americans and millions of people around the world," said Biden. "It was the knee in the neck of justice, and it will not be forgotten," added the president, alluding to the way in which Floyd died, drowned on the ground by an agent.
Susan Rice, director of the National Policy Council, spoke before the executive orders were signed. "The evidence is clear: Investing in equity is good for economic growth and creates jobs for all Americans," said Rice, who is expected to spearhead the government's commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, building on in the job they started in the Barack Obama Administration, where she served as a Security Advisor.
Last week, Biden signed an executive order that all government departments must put racial equality at the center of everything they do during his tenure. "Promoting equity for all, including people of color and other historically underserved and marginalized people, is the responsibility of our entire government," he said Tuesday.
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