Joe Biden, the former Vice President and Senator, launched his campaign for President of the United States with a vow to “restore the soul of America.” For many in America, that “soul” manifests differently and perhaps always has. Indeed, a paradox if not a constitutional contradiction set forth on the very beginning of its text as written, “We the people…” Despite promoting such an ideal of justice and liberty, this country’s soul has always been compromised in contradictions of saying one thing yet doing another. These contradictions are a true joy and pain that are a chorus of American life. Nonetheless, the narrative Mr. Biden was referring to in his opening pitch to the American people was one of healing, decency, competence, and fundamental fairness. This narrative represents the soul of character, inclusion, and hope. These traits are more important than politics and certainly more than what we have seen coming from the White House over the past four years.
Americans are now less than two weeks away from Election Day 2020 on Tuesday, November 3rd. Indeed, history may record this election as one of the most critical elections in world history. The impact on the global health, economy, diplomacy, and national security is at stake. Every domestic public policy issue is on the ballot, and there are many other immensely important federal and state elections also at stake. This is the Super Bowl of American and global power; however, this is not a game for most of us — this is an urgent matter of life and death.
Mr. Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris (the first Black and Asian woman selected to serve as a Vice President of the United States) are in a pandemic obstacle course with President Donald J. Trump and the Trumpian Republican Party. Coming off the COVID-19 pandemic disaster and present push to seat yet another conservative judge to the U.S. Supreme Court, Trump and his political allies have already planned and implemented voter suppression tactics, policies, and regulations to reduce voting rights. People have desperately fought and died to obtain these rights to allow them to have a voice in this democracy, especially women, African Americans and the Afro-Latino communities. With this true threat to U.S. democratic ideals, millions have already cast their early voting ballots. The questionable win and undisputed meddling in the 2016 campaign to elect Trump by foreign actors are vivid reminders which haunt voters (and Hillary Clinton) to this day. While Trump certainly has his sizable base of loyal supporters who will follow him to the moon and back (including, his financial beneficiaries and oddly poor white males who apparently see Trump’s positioning and race baiting tied to their false and insecure notion of white supremacy), many are exasperated, burned out, beat down, and angry with Trump’s seeking of an alternative to his leadership and autocratic efforts to rule this nation and the American people. Consequently, many people feel a sense of despair and desperation. This forthcoming election is an opportunity for many to awaken and move away from a horrible experience of pain – a nightmare.
Scores of objective observers, former staffers of Trump’s administration, and even his family members have come to the conclusion that the current president and his administration are dangerous and a threat to the national and global community. The long list of Trump’s harmful and hurtful statements, policies, and deficiencies are well known. We will neither further enumerate them to evidence the pain he has caused nor dignify them by repeating them all again and again — simply peep his Twitter feed.
Judgement day is upon us and the Hip Hop community and all people who want to have a voice in the decision-making that affects their lives must come out to vote in massive numbers. Based on a poll tracked by CNN, Joe Biden is leading the national average by a fluctuating rate of 53%. Polls do not tell the full story, and this race is close. It is unknown who will win the electoral vote, but most people of color are calling for change in America’s leadership. So what does the Biden-Harris ticket plan on doing to create positive change?
The Biden-Harris plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic is more detailed and responsible than the current President’s plan simply because Biden has a national plan based on science and national leadership. Biden’s plan to address the pandemic includes offering free testing to all Americans, stimulating the economy by hiring 100,000 people to form national contact-tracing, and increasing drive-through testing sites. His goal is to use the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of protective equipment for health care workers, including testing supplies and other items. Biden also plans to help businesses and schools reopen, including providing financial support for retaining and rehiring workers, building a best-practices clearinghouse for schools, and guaranteeing paid leave for anyone with coronavirus or caring for someone with the virus. The former vice president also said he would call Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shortly after being declared the winner of the general election to ask him to remain a member of the White House coronavirus task force. Biden has said he would mandate that everyone wear a mask in public.
Other national pillars of Biden’s campaign include the following:
- Boosting the middle class.
- Repealing the tax cuts enacted by the Trump administration.
- Advocating a $15 minimum hourly wage nationwide.
- Expanding access to affordable education, including free community college for all.
- Cutting the student loan debt crisis by waiving $10,000 a year for 5 years for public service workers.
- Creating public affordable options to healthcare.
- Amending former President Barack Obama’s instituted healthcare marketplace.
- Supporting pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (far from the cruelty enacted by President Trump through ISIS).
Many in the African American community have asked, “What are his plans, and what will he do for us?” This is a fair question, especially since it was the African American vote that helped jump-start Mr. Biden’s campaign when he was losing to Bernie Sanders and others early on during the Democratic primaries. We have set forth below several noteworthy positions of the Biden-Harris campaign which have garnered the support of The Source.
Expanding Access to Affordable Health Care – Building on Obamacare to ensure access to high-quality, affordable care, including providing Black Americans with a new public health insurance option and lowering their health care costs. (Your health is your most important asset and path to wealth.)
Creating Jobs for Black Men – Creating millions of good paying jobs through a historic infrastructure and clean energy investment to ensure that new, high-paying jobs reach Black communities. (We do wish to see more detail, yet the fact this is a stated goals and priority sets the stage for negotiation and opportunity.)
Providing Startup Capital for Small Business – Opening the door for billions in loans and startup capital for Black-owned businesses. (Now, this is what we are talking about.)
Reforming Criminal Justice – Creating a national standard on use of force for law enforcement, end incarceration for drug use alone, and support automated record sealing for certain non-violent crimes. (This is an issue Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been criticized for in the past. While the criticism is fair, most of the analysis failed to present their full record on the subject and their efforts to reform and make the system better. We intend to work with the Biden-Harris administration to make certain we do not get hurt, and we encourage you to join us and those who have the experience and passion to reform an unjust system.)
Making College Affordable – Making public colleges and university tuition free for families earning under $125,000, forgiving all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from public colleges and universities and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (including HBCUs) for debt-holders earning up to $125,000, and investing $70 billion in HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions.
Increasing Black Homeownership – Offering a $15,000 down-payment tax credit for first-time home buyers and creating a new public credit reporting division in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to give consumers a government option for a credit score that seeks to minimize racial disparities.
Supporting Black, Hispanic and Asian owned business and media enterprises. If their 2020 Election campaign is an indication of their inclusion, the Biden-Harris campaign is off to a progressive and assuring start, as this campaign has invested more in media owned by people of color than other Presidential campaigns by a wide margin.
Indeed, these acts, plans, and more are necessary for African Americans and members of other culturally diverse ethnic groups to prosper. Too long, the forgotten, abused, violated, and incarcerated have not benefited from the empty promises of those running for higher office. There must be a reform of not just politics and government but a revolution and reform of the soul for justice, compassion, investment, opportunity, and results. At this time, the Biden-Harris team offers the best hopes for these ideals.
The Source is “Rolling with Joe” because he and Kamala Harris are working to make sure Black Americans and all Americans are not forgotten during this very important election. Biden and Harris have made a strong pledge, surrounded by trusted allies and advocates in our community, that their investment in Black communities will be a priority. As the trusted voice for the culture and the community, The Source is proud to support a campaign that will help advance the economic mobility of African American, Afro Latinx, and Hip Hop community to close the wealth and income gaps by building back the economy better with historic investments in our community.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the absolute best candidates on the ballot for this 2020 Presidential election,” said L. Londell McMillan, owner/publisher of The Source. “We are ‘rolling with Joe’ because he’s been an ally to our community for many years. When he won the Democratic nomination, he didn’t forget us, he showed loyalty and courage. Joe has never forgotten the poor, working, and middle class. Most importantly, he has the character, experience and dignity to rebuild and reform our nation.”
To the Hip-Hop community, “Stand Up” and let’s be counted. Black men, do not let doubt, lack of trust, depression, or despair defeat you. Do not allow wealthy celebrities to confuse you, as some have good intentions yet no real plan or machine for empowerment in the present moment. Super-rich celebrities can talk all that talk, while living fabulous and wealthy lives yet most of our community need us to make the best choices now to take the knee off our community’s neck. No cap, there is no time to be undecided – it is time to Get Out The Vote!
The past and recent history for our community has been devastating. Let history not be a burden on the memory or block to our progress but an illumination of the soul, for we are fortunate we live another day to make life better. Mr. Biden is not a perfect candidate, yet such perfection doesn’t exist. He is a good and decent man — And we are “Rolling With Joe” for President. We are also comforted that Kamala will get his back and our back also, especially in this moment. As the country seeks to form a more perfect union, we must seek a more responsible and competent union chief and administration for this country to assist our interests.The quality of our lives and children’s lives for generations depends on it.
We support the election of Joe Biden to restore whatever moral soul America had yet build a better soul—an authentic and genuine one, to form a more perfect union. Let’s Get It on November 3rd!