National Black Justice Coalition Responds to President Biden’s First 100 Days and First Joint Address to Congress
In reaction to President Biden’s proposed American Families Plan and joint address to Congress on his administration’s first 100 days, David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a leading civil rights organization, issued the following statement:
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“The Biden-Harris Administration hit the ground running during their first 100 days in office for Black and LGBTQ+ people in America, but our work here is far from over.”
“On day one, President Biden issued executive orders expanding anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and mandated the dismantling of systemic racial inequities throughout the federal government; the Department of Housing and Urban Development made a prohibition against the discrimination of trans people in homeless shelters; the Department of Health and Human Services eliminated loopholes that allowed discrimination against women and LGBTQ+ people in healthcare, and against religious minorities and single women in foster care and adoption; increased support for HIV prevention and LGBTQ+ inclusive elder care programs; the Department of Veterans Affairs is now reviewing more inclusive policies for non-binary gender identities alongside a plan to end the ban on gender-affirming care for transgender veterans; and the Department of Justice issued a Title IX memo prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, including LGBTQ+ students attending federally-funded schools.
“These policies will help to level the playing field and ensure that members of our diverse communities are treated fairly. We can celebrate this progress while also acknowledging we have a ways to go to ensure that each of us has opportunities to participate in every aspect of society without bias, stigma, or discrimination.
“President Biden’s address made a firm commitment to our community and to transgender youth. Biden also committed to clean water nationwide; rooting out systemic inequities in policing, education, healthcare, internet access, and employment; passing the Equality Act, equal pay, immigration reform, voting rights, and workplace organizing rights. Each of these actions will be critical to achieving liberty and justice for all.
“We hope President Biden will sign legislation that addresses our policy agenda priorities, including the over 400 year delay of reparations for descendants of formerly enslaved Africans, an extension of the Equal Rights Amendment as part of our constitution, end putting an permanent ban on traumatic conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ people.
“Moreover, the introduction of the American Families Plan is a significant first step toward dismantling oppressive systems that exacerbated pre-existing structural inequities, which are especially stark in Black communities, a sad reality that has only been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we are encouraged and relieved by some of the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts thus far, we urge them to recognize and address the drastic increase in transphobic violence across the country. If we don’t act now, 2021 could become the most deadly year for deadly violence against trans people in history.
“NBJC will continue pressing the federal government to hold those responsible for transphobic hate crimes accountable, and fighting the systems that allow such horrific acts to be swept under the rug. In the words President Biden: doing nothing is not an option.”