Former Vice President Joe Biden penned an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times on Saturday about the tragic death and unjust death of George Floyd. According to Biden, President Donald Trump lacks the leadership the country needs, especially in the face of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and the death of Floyd, both of which he believes are a result of "systemic racism."
On Friday, in discussing a jobs report that made clear some 20 million Americans remain unemployed, Donald Trump said he hoped that George Floyd was “looking down and seeing this is a great day for our country.”
He invoked the name of a man brutally killed in an act of needless violence and a larger tide of injustice that has metastasized on this president’s watch to celebrate a jobs report that included an unemployment rate of 35% among black youth.
Systemic racism affects every aspect of our society. COVID-19 is ravaging our country, with almost 110,000 people now dead, but it is killing black people at almost 2.5 times the rate as white people.
When President Trump talked about the jobs numbers on Friday, he was celebrating the fact that things are turning around, that unemployment – especially amongst blacks – is trending downward again. Remember: before the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, the unemployment rate for African Americans and Hispanics was at a record low. We went from having record-low unemployment to record-high unemployment in the span of weeks because the country was forced to shut down to prevent the spread of the virus.
Biden's campaign has banked on the fact that unemployment skyrocketed. They wanted to swoop in and say that Biden was the answer to this crisis, that he wouldn't have made the same decisions Trump did. But what would he have done differently? Would he have closed the entire economy – even more so than Trump did – and sent us into a full-fledged Depression? He continually hits Trump over his actions or inaction but never says what he would do if he were president. It's easy to attack, especially when you don't have any real policy agenda.
The truth is this: the coronavirus impacts each and every one of us although those effects differs. The economy shutting down impacts business owners, both large and small, white and black. It impacts Americans, both black and white, the same when they can't go to work, feed their families or keep a roof over their head. The virus ravages those who have pre-existing conditions, many of which include African Americans. We know that. But the virus is blind. It doesn't merely pick out people based on the color of their skin. To make it sound like this virus ravaging the black community is somehow Trump's fault is not only wrong but grotesque. If we want to talk about what leads to those preexisting conditions we can. Automatically slapping the term "racism" on those pre-existing conditions doesn't go dig deep enough.
The worst part of Biden's OpEd though is the notion that he is somehow the "progress" at the end of one of the nation's "darkest moments."
History teaches us that our darkest moments have produced some of our greatest progress. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments followed the Civil War. The greatest economy in the history of the world grew out of the Great Depression. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 came in the tracks of Bull Connor’s vicious attack dogs unleashed on those pushing for change. Let us make this, too, a moment of action to deliver long-overdue, concrete policies to reverse systemic racism, and to propel us across this turbulent threshold into an era of true equality and opportunity.
If elected, I am committed to establishing a national police oversight commission within 100 days of taking office. We need to implement real community policing and ensure that every police department in the country undertakes a comprehensive review of their hiring, their training, and their de-escalation practices, with the federal government providing the tools and resources needed to implement reforms. But, we cannot wait for new leadership to make reforms. Congress should take action immediately to outlaw chokeholds, stop the transfer of weapons of war to local police forces, improve oversight and accountability, and create a model use-of-force standard.
It's amazing that Biden is still trying to make himself out to be the only choice candidate for those who want "racial equality" when just a few weeks ago he told Charlamagne tha God that "you ain't black" if he supported Trump.
Let's call this what this is: Biden using a pandemic and a family's tragedy to gain political points, to shift the focus from his racist comments. He should be ashamed of himself for using the tragic death of George Floyd to advance his agenda and to dunk on the president. If he wants to call Trump out for some kind of policy disagreement, fine. So be it. But don't use the wrongful death of a man to do it. His family is still grieving and weaponizing his death in the name of politics is utterly wrong.