- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 2, 2022

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took the stage at a Congressional Black Caucus dinner in Washington to tout their achievements for Black Americans and vowed to fight White supremacists.

The duo spoke at the CBC Foundation’s 51st annual Phoenix Awards, where they ticked off Biden administration wins for minorities such as Mr. Biden’s historic nomination of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is the first Black woman on the high court.

“Without the CBC I wouldn’t be standing here tonight,” Mr. Biden told a crowd of roughly 3,000 people at the event Saturday. “I told you all I was going to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court, and we did.”

Mr. Biden also noted that Ms. Harris was the first Black female vice president of the U.S.

The remarks come as Democrats stress the importance of energizing Black voters to help them hold on to fragile majorities in Congress.

Warnings about White supremacists and right-wing extremists have become familiar themes for Mr. Biden and his Democrats as they fight to beat back Republicans, who are expected to win control of the House and possibly the Senate in the November midterm elections.

Highlighting the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, on May 14 that killed 10 Black people, the president promised the crowd that he would stand tough in the fight against White supremacists.

“Hate will not prevail in America. White supremacy will not have the last word,” Mr. Biden said, adding that he would spend the next two years seeking a ban on assault weapons.

Ms. Harris touted the administration’s investment in historically Black colleges and universities or HBCUs, noting that the first CBC Foundation dinner she attended was when she was a student at Howard University.

The administration earmarked nearly $6 million for HBCUs.

Ms. Harris also received a backlash on social media over the weekend for saying that federal Hurricane Ian relief would be based on “equity” and prioritize people in “communities of color.”

Speaking at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday, Ms. Harris said people of color and low-income communities are hurt most by natural disasters such as Hurricane Ian. Therefore, she said, federal aid should be given “based on equity.” 

“It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making,” the vice president insisted. “We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity, understanding not everyone starts out at the same place.” 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ rapid response director, Christina Pushaw, was among those who slammed Ms. Harris, saying her “false” claims were “causing undue panic and must be clarified.” 

“FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background,” she tweeted.

The awards dinner honored all members of the CBC, all Democrats and bestowed a special “Democracy Trailblazers Award” to Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who chairs the Jan. 6 committee.

Mr. Biden wrapped up his remarks by emphasizing that he had made Juneteenth a federal holiday and advocated for overhauls of policing and voting laws, major promises that he and congressional Democrats failed to deliver for Black voters.

The president pledged more advocacy for Black Americans with their help to keep Democrats in power.

“You’ve had my back and I promise I will have yours,” Mr. Biden said.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide