As Joe Biden continues to move forward with this plans to assume the presidency on January 20th, the individuals that he’s gathering around himself at this time could tell us quite a bit about what his presidency could look like.
Biden has a tightrope to walk, not only in his cabinet, but within the Democratic Party itself. You see, Biden was chosen to run in 2020 by the Democrats for the sole purpose of appealing to the more moderate members of the voter base, hoping that there would be some crossover into the middle-right, with Biden snatching up votes from folks who didn’t care for President Trump’s sometimes-grating antics.
But now that it appears as though Biden will soon be governing, he must also placate the vocal and sizable contingent of far-left Democrats who voted for him just to spite Trump, and who would have much preferred Bernie Sanders as their candidate.
Joe Biden’s choices over the next few weeks could be the key to deciphering who he’s more concerned with impressing.
Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) dodged questions about reparations throughout the 2020 cycle. Baradaran took note of their refusal to stake out a firm stance on the issue. “Dear Kamala, Reparations or go home,” she wrote in June 2019. “Biden just dodged that reparations question like a much nimbler and younger man,” she said in December 2019, referencing a Democratic primary debate.
In her 2017 book The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, Baradaran argues that closing the racial wealth gap requires acknowledging past wrongs and providing compensation for damages. “A reparations program could take many forms from simple cash payments or baby bonds to more complex schemes such as subsidized college tuition, basic income, housing vouchers, or subsidized mortgage credit,” she writes. Baradaran’s book inspired Netflix to donate $100 million to organizations that “support Black communities.”
Reparations have long been a controversial subject in the American political scheme. Should Baradaran’s influence bring the subject to light in a meaningful way, we can be sure that a prolonged legislative battle would ensue.
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