Student Opinion: Biden’s Racial Equity Executive Orders Won’t Be Enough

(AP)

By Alex Hernandez-Zavala

It’s been 50 years since the Civil Rights movement, but President Joe Biden’s new racial equity executive orders are still not what we need.

Biden spoke on the issue of racial equality and emphasized how integral the government is in tackling this issue.

In a report by NPR, Biden’s new executive orders promise, among many other things, that the Department of Housing and Urban Development revise racially discriminatory housing policies.

But direct government intervention isn’t what we need.

What needs to happen to achieve full racial equilibrium is a societal recognition that racism is still a problem in the U.S. Once the public reaches a consensus on the extent of racial prejudice in the U.S., only then progress can be resumed on the journey to racial equity.

I’m not saying government intervention isn’t needed; in fact, the opposite is true. I propose that the government use some resources in educating the populace on the extent of racial prejudice in the U.S. 

Of course, this is a far cry from reality. 

However, there are some government programs that do provide public service announcements. The Department of Justice, for instance, does have a division that is “…concerned that national origin discrimination may go unreported in the United States because victims of discrimination do not know their legal rights.”

Yet, the Federal Protections Against National Origin Discrimination program does not truly address the underlying issue of racism and is not widely known across the nation. Having the issue of race be solely resolved by the government will lead to more partisanship and gridlock in the future. 

The only solution is to have an educated populace and full societal consensus that racism is an issue. Once we reach that point, then, and only then, can progress towards racial harmony resume and ultimately be achieved.

Of course, the Biden Administration plans on honing in on other aspects of racial inequality, according to CNN, such as scrutinizing the Department of Justice regarding civil rights abuse and judicial fairness. It requires government entities to put racial equality at the center of their operations. 

But to what extent will all these executive orders benefit minority groups in the U.S.?

Regarding Biden’s racial equity executive order on the revision of racially discriminatory housing policies, homeownership among white folk is 73 percent, homeownership among the Hispanic population is 43 percent and among Black folk is 35 percent, reports Statistica.com.

If the executive orders are said to fix these issues, what’s the problem? Biden’s executive orders aim at government intervention in a specific sector, not the overall issue at hand.

Race continues to be a hot-button political issue. Biden also recognizes that any act regarding action for racial equity will have difficulty passing through Congress, outlines an article by CNN

This is why it would be easier and more impactful to give the power for change in the public’s hands. As we’ve seen with movements like Black Lives Matter after George Floyd’s death, the people are more than capable of making influential milestones in the issue of racial equality.

CNN reported the extent of these changes: a ban on the Minneapolis P.D’s use of chokeholds, Dallas P.D’s “duty to intervene” rule, which requires officers to intervene if someone is using excessive force, and so many more.

We are accountable for not letting history repeat itself; these numbers may be shocking and unbelievable, so let us focus government resources on educating the public so that knowledge of America’s racial prejudice will outlive Biden’s executive orders.

Alex Hernandez-Zavala is a first-year student at UC Davis, double majoring in Psychology and Sociology. He was born in the Central Valley and raised in Salinas, California.


Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link:

About The Author

Related posts

33 Comments

  1. Keith Olsen

    Biden’s Racial Equity Executive Orders Won’t be Enough

    No surprise there.  It doesn’t matter what’s ever done or instituted it will never be enough.

  2. Tia Will

    Thanks for the article. I fully agree Biden’s actions alone are insufficient. I suspect he would be the first to agree. And yet I believe them to be necessary as a Presidential message to the nation about the importance of the acknowledgement of systemic racial inequality and how important it is for every American to be willing to do their own part in alleviating it.

    Interestingly, Keith has provided us with an example of an obstacle. The belief that our efforts will “never be enough”. I disagree and believe the author has provided us with a few examples of what would be “enough”. It would be “enough” when access to homeownership, income, savings, educational opportunity, job opportunity, incarceration, health care etc. was no longer determined or dependent upon race as multiple studies in multiple areas have determined it to be to this date. These are some of the markers we could use to assess our progress in dealing with systemic racism.

    1. Ron Oertel

      It would be “enough” when access to homeownership, income, savings, educational opportunity, job opportunity, incarceration, health care etc. was no longer determined or dependent upon race as multiple studies in multiple areas have determined it to be to this date.

      What you describe is already illegal.

      I’m not seeing anything regarding the “nuts and bolts” of what Biden signed. What, exactly, is being implemented (and how)?

      You’d never know that California recently voted down Affirmative Action (despite the rise of BLM, protests, etc.), based upon what you routinely read in the Vanguard. It would be interesting to look at the breakdown of ethnicity, regarding support/opposition for that initiative. I’ve seen it reported previously (elsewhere), but don’t recall what it said – other than African Americans having the highest level of support for it.

      1. David Greenwald

        “You’d never know that California recently voted down Affirmative Action (despite the rise of BLM, protests, etc.), based upon what you routinely read in the Vanguard.”

        Explain

        1. Ron Oertel

          In short, those with your point of view are in the minority (among voters) in one of the most liberal states in the union – despite the rise of protests, BLM, etc.

          If anything, the rise of those protests was likely a one-time-only opportunity to reinstate Affirmative Action.

          And it’s not necessarily “white people” leading the charge against it – especially going forward.

          1. David Greenwald

            William Lloyd Garrison founded his paper in 1831 and it took over 30 years to achieve its goal of ending slavery. Not sure why you think being in a minority position is a reason to stop pushing for justice.

          1. David Greenwald

            BTW, not sure why we are talking about affirmative action when this article is talking about fair housing and reversing the Trump gutting of fair housing protection.

        2. Ron Oertel

          I’ve heard that Nazis were pretty bad, too. And, maybe some groups in the Middle East (which for some reason, are not spoken about among those with very liberal views). I’m sure that they all had internal justifications for their views.

          As the state and country becomes more diverse, it’s not going to be a “white” vs. “people of color” issue going forward. It’s already that way.

          What do you think the largest group is on campus, especially if “non-resident ethnicity” was included in the statistics?

          Again, I don’t know specifically what Biden is proposing, regarding reversal of Trump’s “gutting”. Was Trump breaking the law?

          1. David Greenwald

            Maybe you ought to learn about what Biden is proposing and what Trump did policy wise before weighin in?

        3. Ron Oertel

          Maybe it should be in the article.

          Maybe it could be discussed in the comment section, instead of insulting me.

          Maybe you could stop asking me other questions, in the meantime.

          1. Don Shor

            Maybe it should be in the article.

            Maybe it could be discussed in the comment section, instead of insulting me.

            Maybe you could stop asking me other questions, in the meantime.

            Maybe you should click on the link I provided.

        4. David Greenwald

          You might have noticed the article is labeled “student opinion” which means it’s not my article.  Nevertheless, the article does lay out some of it and but more importantly has back links for you to find out the information you need before you opine.  Just saying and that was kind of the basis of my comment this morning about the CIS, you just became aware of it and the issue, but it didn’t stop you from weighing in.

        5. Ron Oertel

          Haven’t had a chance, Don.  Too busy engaging with David.

          But really, if you have to click on a link to get answers to basic questions regarding any particular subject, I’m not sure that most readers are going to do that.

          I was aware of Biden’s order prior to this article, but I think the more interesting aspect is the implementation. I don’t believe this is well-understood, and might add to the substance of what the Vanguard reports. Rather than just acting in its usual “cheerleading” mode – regardless of the author much of the time.

          Note that I didn’t even offer an “opinion” on those specifics – as David claims.

          In fact, there’s now been about a dozen comments, none of which have provided any enlightenment for anyone.

          1. David Greenwald

            7 links in the article, Don directly linked to the executive order and you clicked on how many of them? No one is holding a gun to your head to respond before you have read up on a topic. For you to criticize the author or the commenters about your failure to do due diligence and educate yourself is a low blow frankly, especially with this one.

        6. Ron Oertel

          The level of arrogance you display is astounding.

          Again, I’d suggest stop engaging with me regarding other issues, then. Especially if you don’t want to discuss what I actually suggested.

        7. Ron Oertel

          If you review this thread, you’ll see that we’ve ended up engaging with each other on everything but that, in a very negative manner. I will take some responsibility for that.

          Now, whether or not what Don provided discusses those issues is not something I’ve even looked at.

          But if you or he are more familiar with what’s in there, don’t you think it would be more useful to discuss that, instead of the rabbit hole we’ve gone down?  (Not just for me, but for any of your readers?)

          Just saying, “here’s a link for you” is not a discussion – which I assume is (supposedly) the actual purpose of the comment section, rather than what we just engaged in.

          1. David Greenwald

            I think where I took exception was at this point: Maybe it should be in the article. Maybe it could be discussed in the comment section, instead of insulting me. Maybe you could stop asking me other questions, in the meantime.” Because it was in the article. It was discussed in the comment section by Don. You did take the swipe on Affirmative Action which is why I responded in the first place and then realized the article was not even about affirmative action.

        8. Ron Oertel

          Actually, in skimming through what Don provided, it appears to mostly be a “plan to make a plan”.  Or more accurately, plans to make sub-plans, without specifying what exactly is being proposed.  Just as I suspected.

          And in looking at the links in the article, I’m also not seeing anything which specifies exactly what is being proposed, other than plans to examine.

          Regarding Affirmative Action, I believe that the same underlying goals/beliefs are driving these type of (non) actions.

          So, maybe you just don’t want to admit that you have no answer for it?

          Maybe post a couple of other links, which also don’t provide answers? (Keep me busy, and all.)

        9. Ron Oertel

          Right – so after all the nonsense we both engaged in, my point was confirmed.

          Now – when it comes to possible implementation, that might be more interesting (and might touch on issues/concerns similar to Affirmative Action).

          A difference between policy and procedure. Sort of like how lawmakers implement new laws, without always considering how they’re actually implemented (and the possible impacts that they’ll have).

      2. Tia Will

        Ron,

        There was nothing illegal about what I said. I said nothing at all about government enforcement or affirmative action. I was only pointing out measurable metrics that could serve as indicators of social equity, or improvement in areas of racial inequity. I personally do not believe we can legislate our way there but will only make progress by helping people who are not directly impacted see the persistent inequalities in our systems.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I’d have to look back through about 25 back-and-forth comments between me and David, but I don’t think that I accused you of suggesting anything illegal.

          I said that the discrimination described is already illegal.

          Seems like no one actually knows how Biden’s policy would be implemented by the agencies he directs. Maybe it’s something similar to what existed prior to Trump (but I don’t know what that is, either).

           

  3. Ron Oertel

    I wouldn’t be surprised if racial data becomes less reliable, if people (of various ethnicities/skin colors) believe that the government will ultimately use it against them in some backdoor manner.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for