“Our nation is facing an extraordinary crisis in racial justice… and the Oval Office was just occupied by someone who championed white supremacy and bigotry,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement released Thursday (January 21).
In the statement, Johnson spoke on behalf of the organization, applauding the efforts made by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to address racial justice at the highest levels of government.
“This moment requires bold and meaningful action to end systemic racism,” Johnson wrote. “For that reason, we have called upon the Biden administration to create a Cabinet position to focus exclusively on racial justice. We can no longer afford a piecemeal approach or to address these issues solely through civil rights offices.”
The ongoing protests against police brutality, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Black communities and other communities of color, and continuous systemic racism faced by groups in America justifies the call for the government’s attention.
President Biden appointed Dr. Susan Rice, a former UN Ambassador, to serve as the Director of the US Domestic Policy Council in his administration to address these needs.
“We are elated that the Biden administration has appointed Dr. Susan Rice to lead this august challenge,” Johnson wrote.
“From her position within the White House, she can formulate and coordinate actions among cabinet members to eliminate systemic racism, root and branch, from within the government and ensure racial justice is at the forefront of every agency’s agenda.”
The Biden-Harris administration has plenty on their plate, as they navigate the country through the pandemic, and work to rebuild the nation’s economy, while being intentional about including equity for all.
“Addressing racial justice will be the most vexing challenge facing this new administration,” Johnson said. “It will require a herculean effort to eliminate the institutional barriers throughout the government that still perpetuate racial inequality.”
“With this announcement…, the Biden/Harris administration is off to a strong start to transforming our nation into a more just, equal society.”
Johnson promised the support of the NAACP “every step of the way.”
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