Domestic policy adviser Susan Rice detailed Tuesday, President Joe Biden’s attempt to fight systemic racism by highlighting “equity” policies advanced by the administration.
“For too many American families, systemic racism and inequality in our economy, laws, and institutions still put the American dream far out of reach,” Rice said at the White House press briefing.
Rice said Biden would sign multiple executive orders demanding a top-down review of government to expose and correct racial disparities.
“We’ve hit the ground running to embed equity through the administration,” she said, noting Biden had signed executive orders to “redress systemic racism where it exists and to advance equity where we aren’t doing enough.”
“Advancing equity is everybody’s job,” she said, noting that each federal government agency needed to place equity at the “core of their public engagement.”
Susan Rice reminded reporters she is a descendant of Jamaican immigrants and enslaved Americans and a beneficiary of the “march toward greater equality” in the United States.
But she cited “long-standing inequities” in the country noting that the average black family have one-tenth of the wealth of the average white family and that the gap between black and white home ownership is the widest since 1960.
She pointed to Biden’s plan to sign a memorandum ordering the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to “mitigate racial bias in housing” and to “affirmatively advance our nation’s fair housing laws.”
Rice announced Biden would order the Department of Justice (DOJ) not to renew contracts with private prisons.
“Private prisons profiteer off of federal prisoners and are proven to be or found to be by the Department of Justice inspector general to be less safe for correctional officers and for prisoners,” she said.
Rice also cited statistics showing black and Latino communities were suffering from higher infection and death rates as well as unemployment and food insecurities during the coronavirus crisis.
“We have established within our COVID [coronavirus] task force an effort on equity and that includes, of course, racial equity,” she said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki indicated Biden took issues of systemic racism and racial injustice very seriously and would work to address them.
“Far too often, we think of racial issues that are in the racial equity bucket shall we say are only related to a couple of categories and that’s just not accurate,” she said.
Author: Charlie Spiering