Civil rights teams urge Biden to maintain his phrase on top-level appointments – Florida Courier


General Lloyd Austin III. Testified before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on Capitol Hill in 2005. President-elect Joe Biden has named the retired general his secretary of defense.



President-elect Joe Biden has started announcing some of his nominations for potential positions in the cabinet and transition team.

However, his early selection for the Biden team has generated some criticism.

Rep. James E. Clyburn (DS.C.), often credited with resurrecting Biden’s candidacy after supporting him in Democratic Elementary School in South Carolina, is one of the most notable to raise concerns about Biden’s first-time appointment .

“I want to see where the process goes, what it produces,” Clyburn told Juan Williams, a columnist for The Hill newspaper, about the lack of diversity in his selection. “But so far it’s not good.”

These remarks by Clyburn and others, including NAACP President Derrick Johnson, highlighted widespread concern in the civil rights community. Johnson said on CNN that he was confused about why Biden “did not confirm a meeting with civil rights groups nearly a month after election day”.

Key cabinet picks

Due to criticism of his current team picks, Johnson and a number of other civil rights groups met with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Tuesday, December 8th.

The day before that meeting, the Biden administration announced that it had elected retired Army General Lloyd Austin, former commander of US Central Command, as its secretary of defense.

If the Senate approves it, Austin would be the first black to become Secretary of Defense.

His other African Americans include Rep. Marcia Fudge, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Ambassador to the United Nations, and Cecilia Rouse, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

But civil rights activists, apparently pushing for secretarial and director-level positions, say Biden’s initial appointments and nominations are not enough. They are pushing for appointments to additional key positions such as the attorney general.

Urge Attorney General

Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, said a black attorney general was one of his inquiries given President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr’s efforts to improve voting rights and civil rights. It was also an explosive year for national protests against black police shootings.

“We need him to have an attorney general who will restore these consent regulations immediately and deal immediately with the voting rights law,” Sharpton said at a civil rights activist’s press conference after meeting Biden and Harris.

“You can’t mourn John Lewis on the one hand and not move to protect what he fought for and what he shed blood for on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.”

A Biden-Harris transition official speaking to The Hill defended the team’s drive for diversity, finding that 46 percent of all campaign workers were black and 52 percent were women.

Also, Biden’s team found that he is still in the early stages of the appointment and has only named less than a quarter of the federal positions he wishes to highlight.

‘Updating’ comments

Both Biden and Harris told CNN’s Jake Tapper in a television interview that they simply “weren’t done” when Biden reiterated his promise to appoint a record-breaking government that “looks like America.”

After spending nearly two hours with Biden and Harris, civil rights activists said in a virtual press conference that after four tough years of Donald Trump’s work, a new day is dawning for African Americans in the White House. But they wait.

“Today we seven spent approximately an hour and 45 minutes with President-Elect Biden, Vice-President-Elect Harris, and Assistant President Cedric Richmond discussing a number of very important issues related to the transition of the future government from Biden and Biden to the challenges that this nation faces, ”said Marc Morial, President / CEO of the National Urban League, who chaired the briefing after the meeting.

“We have talked at length about the need for a diverse cabinet, sub-cabinet and presidential meeting,” said Morial. “The president-elect said he intends to make history when it comes to the nominations of African American and Hispanics to his cabinet and sub-cabinet … and while we will not judge the final outcome, it was refreshing for me to hear. “

Other concerns

Also at the meeting were NAACP President Derrick Johnson; Sharpton; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Civil Rights Advisory Board; Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; and Melanie Campbell, President / CEO of the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation.

“President-elect Biden’s initial appointments were mixed, but before Rep Marcia Fudge was appointed Minister for Housing and Urban Development there today
It wasn’t a woman of black who was nominated to a statue cabinet post, ”said Campbell, also chair of the Black Women’s Roundtable.

Campbell added that one of her main concerns is how people of color are being treated in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You need to address the implicit bias issue as they study people during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Campbell said. “I told President Biden my own story of how he was a COVID-19 survivor and how he was sent home with Tylenol after he returned home, to be back in the hospital intensive care unit the next day.”

Ongoing dialogue

Johnson said, “I am encouraged that this will be an ongoing dialogue and that racial justice will be a priority. We have hired people to report directly to the President, just as we did in working with America. It is important that our democracy works for everyone and not just for certain people. “

Ifill said she stressed to the President-elect that there is a “civil rights agenda that would focus on voting and policing, and I also raised the question of what is happening in our prisons today regarding COVID. We need a strong attorney general with a proven record of criminal justice reform and civil rights. “

Regarding the Bundesbank, not just at the Supreme Court, but to think that the reforms that are needed in the entire federal justice system. I think the President-Elect and Vice-President-Elect listened clearly, “added Ifill.

Clarke concluded, “Under the Trump administration, blacks were silenced, marginalized and ignored. This meeting was intended to make it clear that racial justice must be at the center of the Biden Harris administration’s approach to addressing the profound problems we face in the nation. This meeting should ensure that blacks are heard and that this government respects our dignity and humanity.


Comments are closed.