Mario Parker and Justin Sink, Bloomberg, February 16, 2021
President Joe Biden said the racial strife that’s gripped the U.S. since George Floyd’s death is an opportunity to make significant strides toward addressing inequity, likening the era to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
“We have a chance now, a chance now, to make significant change in racial disparities,” Biden said at a CNN town hall event in Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
After winning election in part on the strength of the Black vote, Biden has promised to devote his presidency to addressing deep-seated U.S. racial disparities. He’s sought to place racial equity at the center of broader issues, including his effort to curb the coronavirus pandemic, and during the town hall on Tuesday he spoke at length about policing and race relations.
“There’s so many things that are built in, institutionally, that disadvantage African Americans and Latinos,” Biden said, citing higher rates paid for home and car insurance in Black neighborhoods as an example.
Rapidly changing American attitudes toward race are visible in popular culture, he said — cautioning that he was about “to say something that’s going to get me in trouble.”
“Think about it — if you want to know where the American public is, look at the money being spent on advertising,” he said. “Did you ever, five years ago, think every second or third ad out of five or six you turn on would be biracial couples?”