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: