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WOMEN OF COLOR BACK IN U.S. POLITICS

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Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith

Biden’s Philosophy of racial equality: A better Alternative to Africans?

During the past four years, the situation of Black Americans has been deteriorating. The U.N human rights chief stated that the U.S would be much better under Biden. Similarly, various political analysts believe that Biden might be a “better” solution and alternative for African Americans, who suffered from racial injustice and humiliation during President Trump’s era.  

It is argued that Biden’s philosophy focuses on empowering women and disadvantaged people, in contrast to Trump’s administration, which was argued to be highly dominated by white-privilged men.

Sen. Kamala Harris will be the first woman vice president in U.S. history.

For the First time in the U.S history, a president appoints African Woman to the position of the vice president .Biden’s communication team is also spearheaded by women of different status and color. On top of this, he chose several women for the health experts’ team to assist Biden and Kamala Harris administration in fighting COVID-19. President elect Biden said that “they would bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”   

Biden’s top health expert and adviser, Dr. Marcella Nunez, a black woman, stated that fighting COVID-19 should go hand in hand with fighting racial inequalities. Various reports state that African Americans, especially women, are the most targeted by the virus given the deteriorating living standards and crowded areas they live in.  

  -Challenges Facing Biden When it comes to Racial Equality and African Women Empowerment 

It is highly agreed upon that Biden is a better solution and alternative to the Trump’s administration; however, there is much work the Kamala-Biden Administration must do. Various Studies argue that Biden’s victory in the 2020 elections is highly attributed to the votes of the black community.  

Racial inequality and discrimination against black women are deeply engrained in society. It is not just about granting political positions to Black Women, but also ensuring that we get to the roots of the problem and work on solving it.                        

H.40 Bill must be enforced:

The Biden-Kamala administration must reinstate policies that protect against racial inequality and advance justice in the state.  

The H.40 is a bill that aims to establish a commission to oversee the institution of slavery. In addition, it seeks to examine the socio-economic situation of freed slaves. The bill is sponsored by Rep.  Jackson Lee and introduced in 2019, but it is not implemented till now. 

The successive U.S governments worked on sustaining and perpetuating exclusionary policies and practices in education, health care, and economic opportunities. For instance, the homestead act denied black Americans economic opportunities.  

The president-elect does not show a clear stance regarding the bill, and he stated in 1975 that we are not responsible for things that happened 200 years ago. However, The H.40 bill must be supported because it is the first critical step to ensure that Black Americans are protected. 

Eliminate occupational licenses:

In fact, Occupational licenses are very disastrous and negatively affect Black Women. AkIt is required for workers or black business women to have a license or to get through expensive educational programs and training in order to work or to start a business set up. 

These licenses block Africans from entering the job market. They will have to get through a long process of paying to the government or to get the above mentioned expensive educational programs. For instance, a license for hair- braiding, forces black women to enroll in an expensive cosmetology school- which may cost tens of thousands of dollars- before they can braid hair, even though it is argued that cosmetology schools are not directly related to this skillset.   

David Bernstein, a famous scholar, believes that occupational licenses were originally formed by white interest groups who aimed to block Africans from competing in the job market. Similarly, In their study about the impact of occupational licenses on Women and minorities in UTAH, Colton Cowan, and Olivia Abercrombie, stated that Women bear the negative implications of these measures. 

To Sum up, it is necessary to take further steps to improve Black Women situation in the U.S. One should not deny the fact that increasing the number of women in the white house is necessary, but we need real change in laws and bills as well. For decades, Democrats have promised to improve the situation of African Women in the U.S, and now it is the time to make real changes on the ground. Kamala Harris and other African Women should have a real feminist agenda that tackles the issues of African American Women. Supporting the H.40 bill and eliminating occupational licenses, are critical steps that the Biden-Harris administration should take to improve the situation of African Americans in general, and Women of color in particular.