U.S. lawmakers set resolution condemning China over Hong Kong rights

The Guardian

Biden can repay Black Americans through canceling our student debt

Anything short of full forgiveness will only widen inequalities that the president personally contributed to in his career On average, Black students graduate with $52, 726 in debt compared to $28,006 for white graduates. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP President Biden has recently committed to both closing the wealth gap between Black and white Americans, and addressing the student debt crisis. While some have applauded him for these steps – in particular his plan to forgive $10,000 in student loans – there are many reasons why his actions are woefully inadequate. Biden owes us a lot more than the piecemeal proposals he has put forth. According to the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for African Americans, Black college graduates have an average of $52,726 in student debt, compared to $28,006 for white students. A $10,000 student loan forgiveness would wipe out one-third of the burden of the average white debtor, while doing relatively little for the average Black debtor – and this is important because white debtors already have an easier time paying off their loans. Anything short of full forgiveness will only widen already existing disparities. White graduates, on average, owe 10% less than the amount they initially borrowed, Black graduates on the other hand owe 6% more than what they initially borrowed, and Black borrowers are more likely to never be able to pay off their loans at any point in their lives. Offering student debt abolition for Black students is the right thing to do, both morally and politically. Politically, because Biden owes his victory to Black voters, and should offer them something concrete in return for their loyalty. And morally, because he has personally contributed to many of the inequities that plague Black Americans today. While Biden is hardly the single chief architect of American racism, he has contributed to institutional racism since his early days as a bipartisanship-obsessed senator from Delaware. He opposed the desegregation of schools through federally mandated bussing programs that would have Black students attend better funded white schools. He argued that there were other ways to desegregate, particularly through housing, but opponents pointed out that he could simply support both paths. He also argued that it should be up to local municipalities to make the decision, using the same local autonomy argument that conservatives used to oppose most plans for desegregation. Data would later show that bussing was one of the most effective means of desegregating schools, until it was rolled back in the 80s and 90s. Schools immediately began to resegregate and have remained segregated since. Biden has also proudly championed his role in creating the 1994 Crime Bill and moving the Democratic party even further towards a tough on crime stance. Referring to this victory Biden said: “The liberal wing of the Democratic party is now for 60 new death penalties. That is what is in this bill. The liberal wing of the Democratic party has 70 enhanced penalties … The liberal wing of the Democratic party is for 100,000…

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