In Black History Month Speeches, Biden and Harris Talk Equity, American History

In Black History Month Speeches, Biden and Harris Talk Equity, American History
President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House marking Black History Month in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27, 2023. Also pictured is U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (left) and DuWayne Portis Jr., High School Senior and Youth Leader at Chicago Youth Service Corps. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Nathan Worcester

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks at a Feb. 27 Black History Month reception, seeking to position themselves as defenders of American history amid national furor over critical race theory (CRT).

“Let us all be clear—we will not as a nation build a better future for America by trying to erase America’s past,” Harris said.

“This month, and all year round, we must recognize the full arc of our nation’s history.”

“I can’t just choose to learn what we want to know. We learn what we should know. We have to learn everything—the good, the bad, the truth,” Biden said.

Their comments come as Americans of all colors trade views over history and the current relevance of race in the country.

A Feb. 23 insider report, released exclusively to The Epoch Times, revealed that the University of Florida has concealed the scope of its programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), which encompasses CRT.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took on actions to limit CRT in classrooms, citing its discriminatory classroom instruction, through moves that include the April 2022 “Stop WOKE Act.”
DeSantis hosted his own Black History Month reception just days ago.
In late 2020, former President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order targeting race-based ideology in workplace diversity trainings.

Biden reversed that executive order as soon as he entered the White House.

Meanwhile, Hollywood actor Bryan Cranston said in a Feb. 26 CNN interview that CRT is “imperative” for the classroom.

Pursuit of ‘Equity’ and Black Female Judges Touted

For decades, black American voters have overwhelmingly supported Democrats.

Both Biden and Harris outlined some of the results of that backing, including through their focus on “equity” in place of “equality.”

Although the term is vague, “equity” generally translates to greater equality of outcome in place of equal opportunity.

Harris spoke of the need to address not inequality, but “inequities.”

Biden, for his part, said the last two years of his administration marked “progress to lay the foundation for a stronger, more resilient, more equitable economy.”

Equity, he added, is “at the center of everything we do.”

Biden noted that he was using his presidential power to give more federal contracts to people who aren’t white.

“By 2025, we’re gonna increase to 15 percent of every single contract I award as president of the United States will go to black and brown small businesses,” he said.

“To deliver equal justice under the law, we’re building a federal bench with judges that reflect all of America, led by Ketanji Brown Jackson,” Biden said.

He noted that he had explicitly promised to make a black woman his first Supreme Court nominee and to make a black woman his vice president.

A Feb. 3 analysis on Twitter from Jeremy Carl, senior fellow at the conservative think tank The Claremont Institute, pointed out that Biden has nominated 22 black women and 5 white men to the federal judiciary–numbers well out of proportion to their shares of the total U.S. population and of high scorers on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

“White men were 27 [percent] of Biden voters and likely the provided majority of Biden’s funding—yet they are almost absent from leadership. NONE of Biden’s twenty-five cabinet-level positions is filled by someone of white Protestant background,” Carl noted in the same thread.

“We’ve appointed more black women to the federal circuit courts than every other president in history combined,” Biden said, crediting Sen Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for his contributions to that race-baced achievement.

Biden praised his own team as “the most diverse administration in history.”

“Black unemployment is near record lows,” he also said.

Black unemployment hit a record low under former President Donald Trump.

In a back-and-forth with the crowd, Biden pointed out House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the first black party leader in U.S. history, as well as the presidents of the “Divine Nine,” an organization of historically black fraternities and sororities.

“I may be a white boy, but I’m not stupid. I know where the power is,” he joked in reference to the “Divine Nine.”

“We have to keep going—we’re not finished yet,” Biden said, asking the audience members to “remind” their communities why they should continue supporting his administration.

Nathan Worcester covers national politics for The Epoch Times and has also focused on energy and the environment. Nathan has written about everything from fusion energy and ESG to Biden's classified documents and international conservative politics. He lives and works in Chicago. Nathan can be reached at [email protected].
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