Over the course of the summer, a wave of racial activism swept across the country, leaving destruction and — in some cases — injury and death in its wake. The very people who supported those protests and pledged to back former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 election are now demanding a return on their political investment.
According to a report from Breitbart, a number of activists are pressuring Biden to appoint minorities to the Cabinet of his upcoming administration, with one person even calling his selections for some of the nation’s top government jobs a “litmus test.”
Apparently, naming a female person of color as his vice-presidential running mate, which is a notable milestone on its own, was nowhere near good enough for racial activists who claim Biden owes them for his victory.
What are they saying?
Biden and his transition team have spent the past several weeks naming the bulk of his Cabinet and other top staffing picks, seemingly taking into heavy consideration the nominee’s race and/or gender as one of the qualifications for holding a position in the upcoming Biden administration.
Gladys Limón, executive director of California Environmental Justice Alliance, recently explained to the San Francisco Chronicle that “there was a mandate” for Biden’s selection process while calling his ultimate decision on who fills the vacant roles a “litmus test.”
Miya Yoshitani, executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, implied that the appointment of minorities to positions in the Biden administration is a form of reparations in response to the demands of groups like Black Lives Matter.
“The organizing forces that were putting these issues in front of people’s minds and on the front pages of media really did create a greater opening for the demands of racial justice advocates to be met through things like these appointments,” Yoshitani said.
Alicia Garza, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, also held nothing back when describing Biden’s appointments, claiming that Biden’s victory “had to do with black people that helped him out along the way.” She added that it’s important for Biden “to reward the communities that did push you over the finish line.”
Obviously, President-elect Biden buckled to the pressure to appoint people to his Cabinet and to his administration based on their race, gender or sexual orientation, an accomplishment that his transition team has bragged about on several occasions.
According to Vogue, Biden has steadily rolled out a long list of minority appointments including the first Black Secretary of Defense, a job awarded to retired four-star Army General Lloyd Austin. Alejandro Mayorkas will be the first immigrant to head up the Department of Homeland Security.
As NPR reported, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) will be the first Native American to lead the Department of the Interior and the first Native American to hold a Cabinet position in U.S history.
Biden vowed during his presidential campaign that his Cabinet and his White House would be “the most diverse in history” and it appears that he’s following through on that promise.