Biden’s State Of The Union Address: 3 Takeaways For Black America

President Joe Biden delivered his State of The Union address on Feb.7. Though he referenced the economy and healthcare, SOHH highlights three takeaways that could be critical for Black Americans.

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Biden Discusses American Policing

President Biden delivered his State of The Union on Feb. 7 in front of Congress and the House of Representatives. Biden mainly touched on the economy, healthcare, the police, and the drug epidemic in America.

One critical point that President Biden mentioned is the policing in America and victims of police brutality. While discussing the police, he pointed out the parents of Tyre Nichols, who was assaulted and later died at the hands of six cops last month in Memphis. Nichols’ parents were in attendance. 

Biden also mentioned how White Americans don’t have “The Talk” with their children, referring to how to handle potentially fatal police encounters

“Most of us here have never had to have ‘the talk’ that Brown and Black parents have with their children,” President Biden said. 

Police brutality has existed for Black Americans for centuries and has had numerous victims, including George Floyd, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck in 2020.

President Biden Talks The Economy & Drugs

While speaking on the economy, president Biden highlighted that many small businesses were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected many small Black-owned businesses. He also mentioned that the unemployment rate is at 3.4%, which was a 50-year low. 

President Biden also added the industry had grown the most for employment in manufacturing for the Black and Latino community. Toward the end of his speech, President Biden highlighted the opioid and fentanyl crisis in America and how many people have died from the deadly drugs.

“Let’s launch a major surge to stop fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border,” President Biden said.
Many victims from the rap community have died from drug overdoses, including Memphis rapper Big Scarr and other young rappers in the past.

Last month, Baton Rouge rapper Boosie used his social media to say fentanyl is dangerous and that it is “safer” to use crack cocaine.

What Biden Didn’t Discuss

While President Biden discussed victims of police brutality in America, he did not touch on the possibility of an Anti-Black hate crime bill that could protect Black Americans from racial hate crimes. According to a CNN report, The Emmett Till Antilyncning Act was passed by Congress in 2022 after 200 attempts to pass. 

Biden also failed to emphasize consistency in holding police officers accountable for fatal force against Black Americans.

Legalizing marijuana or equaling the playing field for the industry was also not discussed. For decades, Black Americans are three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than White Americans, according to an ACLU report. 

In states such as California, Colorado, Nevada, and others where recreational use is legal, White Americans are acquiring wealth from the marijuana industry while many Black Americans are still incarcerated for marijuana possession.