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Biden Ignores the Issues of Black and Brown People in His State of the Union Address

President Joe Biden gave his first State of the Union address on March 3, during which he spoke on a number of problems currently facing our country. Inflation, job growth, tax rates, and the ongoing war in Ukraine all made the list of things that need to be resolved by the United States government, all followed by suggestions on how we can fix those problems. But out of all the issues touched on by the President in his hour and two-minute-long speech, one was glaringly missing. The struggles of Black and Brown communities.

It's only been two years since violence and anger gripped America over the brutal way police treat Black people, and the President didn't even see it fit to address them directly. Though he did speak on the idea of police reform and called for the protection of DACA Dreamers, Biden seemingly went out of his way not to mention race at all during his speech.

What's the motive behind this move? While there is no official answer, it may have to do with the theme of bi-partisanism and togetherness that the President was championing the entire night. Joe Biden very rarely used the word "I" when speaking on the accomplishments of this administration and chose to highlight bills that passed with both Democrat and Republican support. It could be argued that mentioning the existence of minorities might've ruffled a few feathers. However, the Commander-in-Chief had no issue promising women and transgender Americans that he would work to protect their rights and liberties, despite it being common knowledge how polarizing abortion and trans rights are.

No matter the reason, this display of disregard for people of color is a massive misstep for Biden. When things came close during the election of 2020, it was cities with huge Black populations that flipped entire states from red to blue. Places like the 43.6% Black city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 51.0% Black city of Atlanta, Georgia. And the 78.3% Black city of Detroit, Michigan. All of whom helped Biden win the most vital states he needed to secure the Presidency. So to avoid addressing the needs of Black and Brown people after they showed up in record numbers to vote for him is not only a show of disrespect but an egregious act of ungratefulness.

We may never know what was going through Biden's mind when making such a decision, whether he was trying to bring us all closer or simply forgot about people of color. But one thing is for certain. If he can't even thank people of color for helping him in 2020, he shouldn't expect the same amount of support from them in 2024.


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