by Dr. Linda Lee Tarver
There is a rich irony in Joe Biden running as the “black savior” candidate.
Perhaps because establishment Black Democrats played such a prominent role in saving the Party from nominating the hopeless socialist, Bernie Sanders, Biden’s campaign and a credulous media class have convinced themselves that black turnout will sweep the former vice president and the Democrats back to victory in Michigan and other closely-contested states.
The sheer lengths the left goes to recast the vice president of the first black president in a savior role are astounding. Once you sift past Biden’s blatant exaggerations about his supposed role in the Civil Rights Movement and his downright lies about being arrested by police for the Apartheid regime on the way to see Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Joe Biden doesn’t offer Michigan’s black community much of anything.
In fact, Biden’s actual record would indicate the exact opposite. If you went looking for a standard bearer for undoing the progress African-Americans have made in the last three and half years and returning to the exact policies that devastated the black working class for the 25 years before Donald Trump took office, you would be hard pressed to find a better one than Joe Biden.
For more than 30 years in the U.S. Senate, Joe Biden was one of the leading proponents of the globalist “free trade” agenda that created the “Made in China” world. Starting in the early 1980s, he repeatedly voted to exempt Chinese goods from the restrictions that we normally apply to totalitarian communist countries with horrendous human rights records.
In the 1990s, Biden doubled down on this trend, even as it inflicted a growing toll on American workers. He voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which, according to one study, destroyed over 36,000 jobs held by Black Americans in just the first three years after its implementation, mostly in manufacturing. Detroit, with an economy dominated by a single giant industry, was hit particularly hard since automakers could achieve immediate and substantial cost savings by moving production to Mexico.
Despite the obvious warning that NAFTA offered against further globalization, President Bill Clinton offered to make China’s “most favored nation” status permanent, and Joe Biden was right there to vote to ratify it. A few years later, China was allowed to become a member of the World Trade Organization, despite its long record of duplicity and deceit. After that, America’s trade deficit with China more than quadrupled and American factories closed by the tens of thousands, hollowing out entire communities — and again, no one was hit harder than African-Americans in the Midwest, who for decades had relied on America’s industrial base to lift us into the middle class.
Nothing changed when Joe Biden got to the White House on Barack Obama’s coattails, except that he added to his resume of failure by presiding over the slowest economic recovery since World War II and a Black unemployment rate that reached an inexcusable 16.8 percent at a time when the economy wasn’t even contracting. Biden still hadn’t learned his lesson about trade, either, advocating for the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” that would have removed even more protections for American workers and opened the floodgates even wider to cheap Chinese goods.
President Trump’s America First agenda, on the other hand, brought us record-low Black unemployment, rising incomes and net worth for Black families, higher Black homeownership rates, rapid Black-owned business creation, and the greatest narrowing of the black-white employment gap in American history. This President did more to empower the Black community in just three years than Joe Biden did in three decades — to hold us back.
The Biden campaign might want to rethink the “black savior” narrative.
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Linda Lee Tarver is a small business owner and President of Tarver Consulting.