Biden makes fresh appeals to Black voters, hoping they can return him to the White House

President Joe Biden is trying to reverse a decline in black voter support this week, refocusing attention on a group he hopes can take him back to the White House, as they did four years ago.

To celebrate civil rights milestones and Martin Luther King Jr. The speech by the next generation of leaders at the young man’s alma mater comes amid polls showing black voters are flocking to Biden, frustrated by his inaction. top priorities and reversed its position on the economy and the war between Israel and Hamas.

Marking the anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education case that struck down segregation laws as unconstitutional, Biden hopes to reaffirm his commitment to promoting and furthering the historic victories of the black community over the past 70 years.

And in a speech Sunday at Morehouse College in Atlanta, already controversial amid campus protests nationwide, the goal is to raise the next generation of blacks, the voting bloc where Biden’s decline in support has been most pronounced.

Since the civil rights era, Democratic presidential candidates have enjoyed widespread support from black voters. However, leaders of several black grassroots organizations warned that the president should not take the support of black Americans for granted.

In the months leading up to November, Biden hopes to highlight both his own record and revive all voters’ memories of what life was like under the Trump presidency.

“He has to answer two questions: why get out and bother voting, which is pretty much the same question that’s good for me from this electorate,” said Biden campaign co-chairman Cedric Richmond. “And then he has to answer the Janet Jackson test: ‘What have you done for me lately?'”

In a radio interview taped Tuesday, Biden urged black voters to “remember who Trump is

“. He wrongly accused the Central Park Five,” Biden told Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan on V-103.3 in Atlanta. “He’s the founder of birtherism, he first tried to repeal Obamacare – now he’s been allowed to do even more damage.”

Sharpening the contrast with Trump has been crucial for Biden as he tries to improve his standing in the polls. Nowhere is this more critical than with black Americans. Many polls have shown them to be more disconnected from the Democratic Party than they have been in decades.

Biden often touts his record among black voters, such as infrastructure investment and student loan cancellation. He has also taken steps to loosen rules on marijuana, including Thursday, when the Justice Department formally began a review of the drug..

On other issues, however, he failed to fulfill his campaign promises, including pushing for sweeping legislation to protect voting rights.

While Biden frequently mentions things like infrastructure investment, his amnesty for federal marijuana offenders and student debt relief, his campaign promises fell short on other issues, including efforts to pass sweeping legislation protecting voting rights.

A New York Times/Siena College poll of battleground states released this week showed Trump winning more than 20% of black voters in a two-way matchup with Biden, which would be a historic record if it translated into votes in November. . Trump won about one in 10 black voters nationwide in 2020, according to various estimates, including 12% in a CNN poll.

“There are people in the black community who feel like nothing has changed,” Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights leader, told Bloomberg this week.

Black voters have historically been an integral part of Biden’s electorate, and the president’s history with the community runs deep. The president was inspired to run for political office by the civil rights movement of the 1960s and was the vice president of the nation’s first black president. These deep ties have been tested throughout Biden’s decade-long career, but they proved critical when he was ushered into the White House in 2020.

This deep relationship is sure to be crucial to the president’s hopes of keeping his seat. in the White House again this year. , especially in battleground states like Georgia and Michigan — both of which Biden has a travel schedule for in the coming days.

“I got into politics because of the African-American community,” he told a mostly black audience in Wisconsin earlier this month.

On Thursday, Biden met in the Oval Office with plaintiffs in the landmark case that overturned racial segregation in schools. On Friday, he will give a speech at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and meet with members of the Divine Nine, a collection of historic black fraternities and sororities.

After Morehouse’s commencement speech in Atlanta on Sunday, he will travel to Detroit to speak at the NAACP Freedom Fight Dinner.

Speaking after a meeting with plaintiffs in the Biden and Brown cases — in which those plaintiffs and their relatives urged the president to make the anniversary a national holiday — NAACP President Derrick Johnson rejected the vote as showing erosion. black voter support for the president.

“The polls have been proven to be bogus over the last four election cycles,” Johnson said. “I believe we are in a crisis of our democracy. We have to decide if we have a functioning democracy that represents all citizens or something less.”

Originally inspired by Charlottesville’s 2020 white supremacy rally, Biden hasn’t shied away from mentioning America’s history of racism — at times he’s been even more vocal about how the country has failed black people. citizens like former president Barack Obama.

In his inaugural address in January 2021, Biden issued a clear condemnation of white supremacy and terrorism and appealed to the country to address widening racial disparities.

“The nearly 400-year-old cry for racial justice moves us,” Biden said at his inauguration. “The dream of justice for all cannot be delayed any longer.”

And earlier this year, Biden made a pilgrimage to South Carolina, a state with a strong black Democratic coalition that helped propel Biden to the 2020 Democratic nomination and eventual presidency.

Speaking at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the site of a white supremacist mass shooting in 2015, Biden credited black people in South Carolina, and especially Rep. Jim Clyburn, for sending him to the White House.

“Because of this church and the black community in South Carolina — and this is not an exaggeration — and because of Jim Clyburn, I stand here today as your president. And I have done my best to honor your faith,” he said

White supremacy, Biden said in that speech, is “poison.”

“Throughout our history, it has torn this nation apart. It has no place in America. Not today, tomorrow, never, said the president.

But Biden’s base of black voter support was not without its challenges.

While running for president in 2020, Biden claimed in an interview with Charlamagne tha God that black supporters trying to choose between him and Trump “are not black.” He later admitted that he shouldn’t have said that.

In his re-election bid, Biden sought to highlight achievements that benefited black Americans. In a radio interview this week, Biden referenced Covid-19 vaccinations, $1,400 checks during the pandemic, increased black housing, efforts to address the racial gap in home values, efforts to support black small businesses, support for HBCUs, health care and prevention. spam charges.

Trump, according to Biden, “has a fundamentally different view of the American people than I do. And it’s all about hate and revenge,” he said of his predecessor.

Biden advisers say reminding voters about Trump’s presidency, including turning the Supreme Court into a conservative majority by appointing three justices and warning them about what a second term could look like, will be key to their work in the coming months.

“People may not believe it, but the case can be retried,” said Richmond, a former congressman and senior White House adviser. “A Trump court would put Brown v. Board of Education back in play. They could put Plessy v. Ferguson back in play.

With a lack of voter enthusiasm for the November election, Biden said many Americans are still not focused on voting and lamented, that “it’s hard to get legitimate information from news sources

But voters may soon become more engaged: Biden and Trump will hold the first debate of the 2024 campaign cycle next month.”.

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