During a campaign that was repeatedly rescued by Black voters, President Biden pledged to “Build Back Better.”
To address the myriad crises affecting Black families and communities across this nation as a consequence of the Pandemics of COVID19, police misconduct, violence and murders and systemic racism, I believe to “Build Back Better,” Biden must be BOLD.
‘Revolution of Values’
He should audaciously reimagine the Build Back Better Plan, including the “Lift Every Voice” Black Agenda (which he seldom publicly touted), by embracing Dr. Martin Luther King’s call for a “Revolution of Values” and demand for an “Economic Bill of Rights.”
At this defining moment in history, Biden would be wise to marshal his supporters to BOLDLY work towards creating a New America consistent with Dr. King’s vision of the beloved community!
In his iconic speech at the Riverside Church in 1967, Dr. King issued the following challenge: “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.
We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
I would like to offer suggestions/steps for Biden to be BOLD in advancing a transformational agenda:
Boldly enact policies that affect Native Americans, African Americans and people of African descent, Latinx, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, women, young people, the LGBTQ community, workers, immigrants, climate change and environmental justice advocates … through BOLD legislation or by Executive Orders if required.
No buckling, bowing
Do not bow down to or buckle in the face of the hypocritical machinations of the Obstructionists in the name of unity and bipartisanship. Remember the lessons of the Obama administration when appeals for bipartisanship fell on the deaf ears of the Mitch McConnell-led obstructionists who vowed to make Obama a “one term President.”
Abolish the filibuster and enact a BOLD “people oriented” agenda to meet the needs of people who could care less about legislative process, procedures or parliamentary maneuvers. People want to see the government deliver policies that will improve the quality of life for their families and communities.
Confront White supremacy
Expose, confront, and defeat the “enemy from within:” White supremacy, White nationalism, domestic terrorism, xenophobia, all of the malignant manifestations of structural, institutional racism.
Be aware that mandating “equity” is a necessary and welcome prescription for the present, but it does not address the incalculable harms endured by African Americans from the holocaust of enslavement, chattel slavery and all of the derivative racially exclusionary policies and practices after Emancipation to the present.
Be the president who delivers on the promise of “40 acres and a mule,” reparations for African Americans. Reparations is the only racial remedy that will eradicate systemic racism in this society. As such reparations constitute the foundation for the new America which must be born.
Utilize the Democratic control of Congress to declare statehood for D.C. so that the residents of the “District,” where the great monuments to “freedom” were built by enslaved Black labor, will finally achieve full freedom!
In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s revolution of values, Black Voters and the emerging Rainbow Coalition should fully expect and demand that Biden BOLDLY advance an agenda for transformational change. A new American must be born. #BEBOLDBIDEN
Dr. Ron Daniels is president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus, York College City University of New York. His articles and essays appear on the IBW website www.ibw21.org and www.northstarnews.com.