There is injustice in America. There is discrimination. There is a legacy of racism and inequality that lives still in our institutions, our laws, and in too many people’s hearts that makes it harder for Black people to succeed. These are facts in the United States of America in 2020, and we must all do more to move our nation closer to the ideals inlaid at our founding—that all women and men are created equal.
This year has also brought us too many examples of the dangers Black people can face in the course of going about their lives. With grieving hearts, we learned to say the names of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and many more. I’ve spent time with the families of George Floyd and Jacob Blake, sharing their grief and anger and seeing the incredible resilience of communities that for too long have had a knee on their neck. And I was inspired by their commitment to turn their pain into purpose.
Today, there are Americans all across this country, especially Black Americans, who are exhausted and hurting. Who are disappointed by a system that never seems to deliver for your communities. Who are sick and tired of a cycle where, in good times, Black communities lag behind, in bad times they get hit first and hardest, and in recovery, they take the longest to bounce back.
We’re in the midst of four simultaneous crises—a pandemic that has claimed more than 200,000 lives, a disproportionate number of whom were Black; an economic crash that has hit Black workers and Black business owners especially hard; a long overdue reckoning on racial justice; and a climate crisis that is already hurting Black and Brown communities the most.
It is our job to do everything in our power to rip out systemic racism across our society, root and branch. It will be hard work in any case. But we will not succeed without a leader who understands our history and is ready to grapple with our challenges.
President Trump wants to paper over the living wound of racism. He’s issued Executive Orders and established a new national commission designed to whitewash our history—and deny the daily reality of being Black in America.
He actively appeals to white supremacists and fans the flames of hatred and division in our country, because he thinks it benefits him politically. He ignores the most basic job of every president: the duty to care for all of us, not just those who voted for him.
It’s the polar opposite of what I will do as president. I was proud to serve for eight years alongside President Obama.
I watched up close how he filled the Oval Office with dignity and compassion for others. And, together with Senator Kamala Harris as my vice president, we will restore honor, integrity, and competence to the White House.
We will build an administration that looks like America, including nominating the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
We will work to unite the country around solutions that will push our country forward, and most importantly, I will listen to those impacted by the long-standing inequities in our system—especially Black Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans.
That’s how we will work together to deliver real, lasting change. Criminal justice and policing reforms, but also economic opportunity and financial stability. Building wealth for families of color and passing it down. Closing the racial wealth gap is one of the most powerful ways we can build real equity in our society, and it’s going to require a full-court press. That’s what my Lift Every Voice plan is—a comprehensive agenda to take on the range of issues that drive inequality in Black America.