Opinion | Open Letter to President Biden From a Dispirited Black Voter | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack

When it leaked in January, The New York Times reported that law enforcement groups were so enraged by “the tenor of the order’s policy preamble, which spoke of ‘systemic racism’ in the criminal justice system,” that Susan Rice, the White House domestic policy adviser, was forced “to make conciliatory phone calls with an eye toward more substantive discussions.”

Mr. President, it’s March. We are still waiting for you to issue that executive order.

In the State of the Union you didn’t once say the words “Black” or “African American,” “white” or “Hispanic.”

Race, as a word, magically disappeared from your rhetorical repertoire. Why? I assume because the political winds have shifted. What polled well last spring isn’t polling well this spring.

Even when you mentioned increasing support for historically Black colleges and universities, you used the acronym, H.B.C.U.s. Minor? Yes. But I noticed. By the way, the best way to help the graduates of H.B.C.U.s would be to use your executive authority to cancel more student loan debt, since, according to the Education Data Initiative, Black college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than white graduates.

Student loans were not mentioned in your speech.

You did hail your Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, even if you didn’t point publicly to the historical significance of her being the first Black woman nominated. Her blackness — and the history of exclusion on the court — was left unsaid in the grand chamber.

Minor? Maybe. But again, I noticed.

Some might say that simply because Jackson is Black, it was enough to mention her name, without directly addressing Black people and their interests in the speech. But it doesn’t work that way. Symbols, representation and inclusion are important to me, sure, but they are no substitute for policy and legislation.

This is not to disparage Judge Jackson’s nomination in any way. It is exhilarating. She is qualified and should be confirmed, and she will be an inspiration for many as well as a needed voice for another perspective on the court. Thank you for nominating her.

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