Biden’s Proposal to Woo Black Voters Falls Short

As Donald Trump continues to target the Democratic Party’s long-held advantage among black American voters, the Biden campaign was hoping its rollout of the “Lift Every Voice” plan, discernibly branded to black voters, would stimulate the base that arguably saved him during the Democratic Presidential Primary. But upon examination, Biden’s proposal has no substance, misses the point, and offers nothing but the same failed liberal policies empirically known to destabilize the black community while avoiding our biggest concerns.

First, Biden’s proposal ignores the role illegal immigration has had on disadvantaged black Americans.

Biden’s proposal boldly claims he will “close racial wealth and income gaps.” But he plans to do that during a presidency that would roll back an immigration-labor framework which prioritizes American workers first, something that has been a boon to black workers.

If there’s one thing the Biden campaign and Democrats at large love to do, it's conflating the black and brown condition in America. Homogenizing issues central to black Americans as a singular approach for “people of color” ignores the ways that lax immigration policies have left certain black populations vulnerable to its consequences. While uncomfortable for the left to admit, it’s consensus knowledge that liberal immigration policies have had an adverse effect on black wealth. As the supply of low-skilled, low-wage labor became available in the U.S. labor market, Black wealth declined.

Approximately 60% adult black men have a high school diploma or less, making them disproportionately employed in low-skilled labor markets, where they are more likely to be in competition with immigrants. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand how illegal immigration over the past forty years has depressed wages for low-skilled American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are black men.

The policy wonks who work for Joe Biden have to know that there is no addressing black wealth inequality without addressing the ways that illegal immigration has systemically undercut the black community. Considering the platform of the Democratic party, addressing illegal immigration in the ways needed to resolve black wealth inequality is an impossibility. Biden’s proposal not only ignores the problem but intensifies it by aiming to spend billions of federal dollars to create more housing projects in “distressed” communities. Empirically, these projects simply create more flashpoints for violence as these projects end up being dominated by street gangs that have evolved (for worse) as a result of the emergence of Latin gangs and their conflicts with the black community.

Biden’s proposal is called the “Lift Every Voice” plan, but you can’t lift black voices as they’re being drowned out by the needs of illegal immigrants who seem to have supplanted African-Americans as the Democratic Party’s preferred audience to pander to.

Secondly, prosperity for black Americans is contingent on prosperity for all Americans, and Biden’s plan to raise taxes will likely kill prosperity across the board.

The Joe Biden campaign claims black businesses would flourish by reinstating old Obama and Clinton era tax-credit policies while rolling back the reforms President Trump made that saw the country shatter economic records. He pledges to double funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative which he says helped black businesses under President Obama but even Obama’s fiercest supporters look back at his presidency wondering why these initiatives did nothing tangible for the black economy. The plan makes no mention of how these tax credits helped in the past or would help now, while also neglecting to explain how the credits would function differently from President Trump’s Urban Revitalization plan, which is already in full swing and having an impact on capital mobility. New income, payroll, and capital gains taxes to pay for a litany of government-funded programs and the permanent expansion of the New Markets Tax Credit will simply be another letdown for the black community, as the 15% estimated market reduction of Biden’s tax proposal will likely be a dark shadow on the market, preventing all growth.

Despite the economic downtown caused by the pandemic, Joe Biden has pledged to eliminate tax reform achieved under the Trump presidency, creating an environment that will make it very hard for all businesses to survive, including black-owned ones.

The coronavirus has undoubtedly stolen President Trump’s economic edge as a tool of persuasion to the black community but the Lift Every Voice plan gives the President another opportunity to regain it by exploiting this weakness of Biden’s. There is simply no way the former vice-president is going to be able to justify the success of this plan as opposed to the pro-business environment most black Americans enjoyed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Black unemployment hit its lowest points in years and the White House’s Urban Revitalization program created optimism where there wasn’t.

A recent poll shows that despite President Trump being less popular than Biden head to head, a majority of Americans believe he is better suited to create jobs. The market likely thinks similarly and if it were to rebound, a Biden victory and perceived incoming taxes could tank investor confidence. Given the fact that statistically speaking, black voters have had the most to lose from the COVID downturn, the economy will likely weigh heavily in their decision. The Lift Every Voice plan was supposed to stimulate trust in Biden’s economic plan but clearly it promises much more than it can deliver.

Third, this plan just reeks of, well, Joe Biden.

Perhaps the most glaring problem with Biden’s so-called plan to empower black America is the fact that it’s based on a realm of failed neoliberal policies with the same concept: the government will fix it this time, we promise.

The idea that a Biden White House would mark the end of government corruption while making it more transparent and efficient in the process is a dream we’ve been sold before. If Joe Biden being in the White House is such an advantage for the black community, why wasn’t it so when Biden was there for nearly a decade? The entire tone of Biden’s plan is that the black community will have some financial renaissance moment because ol’ Joe has finally seized the reins of power. But Biden has been at the highest levels in power in Washington for over 40 years.

The more one delves into Biden’s plan to revitalize black America, the more it becomes obvious that this is merely a distraction or ploy to make up for his campaign’s lack of black engagement at a time when the Trump campaign even beat Biden to the punch on turning black engagement virtual.

Even the rollout of the policy questions its sincerity. Not only does the link to the policy initially take you to a landing page to donate to his campaign, but its wording is extravagant and it lacks necessary implementation specifics. Even the name of the policy plays with complicated emotions and history. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is the name of a song widely viewed as a “Black national anthem” of sorts dating back to its inception during a crucial time for black Americans as they dealt with the turmoil and hatred of Jim Crow replacing slavery. It’s a song endorsed by Booker T. Washington that was used during a time when Democrats wreaked havoc on black Americans with institutional racism.

Given Biden’s friendship with Jim Crow apologist and former senator Strom Thurman and with the wounds of Biden’s controversial 1994 crime law being fresh, you would think Joe Biden might steer away from claiming such a rich part of black history as his own. The so-called Lift Every Voice plan dismally falls short. There may not have been so much of an eye roll from the black establishment media on this proposal, but given their ties to the Democratic National Committee I wouldn’t hold my breath on waiting for criticism. But social amplification online is already speaking volumes.

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