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President Biden Reaches Out to Black Voters in Detroit and Atlanta

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President Biden Reaches Out to Black Voters in Detroit and Atlanta

President Joe Biden made significant appeals to black voters over the weekend, starting with a heartfelt declaration at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) “Fight for Freedom Fund” dinner in Detroit.

Addressing the crowd, he proudly announced himself as a “lifetime member” of the NAACP.

Earlier that day, Biden began his commencement speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta, a historically black liberal arts college for men, with a scripture reference: “Scripture says the prayers of a righteous man availeth much.”

He recounted the story of Reverend Richard C. Coulter, a former slave who helped establish Morehouse, emphasizing the need for wider recognition of such inspiring histories.

Biden’s tour through Georgia and Michigan aimed to reinvigorate his support among black voters, an essential demographic for his campaign as he faces declining polling numbers and the upcoming election.

The Biden campaign has invested over $1 million in targeted ads on Black-owned media and prioritized interviews on Black radio. Despite retaining majority support from Black voters, recent polls indicate a slight dip compared to 2020.

In a March CBS News poll in Georgia, 82% of Black voters expressed support for Biden, down from 88% in a 2020 exit poll. An April poll in Michigan showed 77% support, with other third-party options in the mix.

Biden Achievements and Challenging Trump

In Detroit, Biden underscored his administration’s accomplishments for Black Americans. He highlighted a $16 billion investment in historically Black colleges and universities, a low Black unemployment rate, efforts to reduce prescription drug prices, and student debt relief.

“I’ve forgiven an awful lot of debt from folks who have college debt — billions of dollars — so people can start their lives again,” Biden stated at CRED Café, a Black-owned business. He contrasted his record with that of his likely opponent, Donald Trump, criticizing Trump’s intentions to reverse these achievements.

Sonya Ellis, a 69-year-old teacher from Detroit, credited Biden’s policies for her student loan forgiveness but voiced concerns about Trump’s potential return. “I’m very nervous that Trump could win in November,” she said, suggesting Biden could be stronger on foreign policy.

Throughout the weekend, Biden repeatedly thanked Black voters for their crucial support in 2020, insisting they would be key to defeating Trump again. He contrasted his Supreme Court appointment of Kentaji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman on the court, with the type of appointees Trump might choose.

During his NAACP speech, Biden addressed Trump’s promise to pardon January 6 rioters, asking the audience to imagine the outcome if Black Americans had stormed the Capitol. This elicited groans of agreement from the crowd.

Commencement Address at Morehouse College

At Morehouse College, Biden focused on themes of struggle, faith, and democracy. He criticized restrictive voter laws and attacks on election workers, questioning whether American democracy truly serves Black citizens. “What is democracy if a trail of broken promises still leaves Black communities behind?” he asked.

Biden also addressed the conflict in Gaza, expressing heartbreak and calling for a two-state solution and immediate ceasefire, which garnered applause. The Israeli military operation in Gaza has led to significant casualties and sparked protests, including quiet demonstrations at Morehouse where some students turned their chairs away from Biden or wore Palestinian flags.

Despite protests, Biden’s speech went uninterrupted. Yolanda Hutchins, a 55-year-old Democrat in Atlanta, voiced frustration over Biden’s handling of the Gaza situation. Bill Osborne, a 64-year-old Detroit resident, noted that while Gaza resonates with younger Black voters and Arab Americans, it might not be a decisive issue for the broader Black electorate.

As Biden continues his campaign, he remains focused on solidifying his support among Black voters, a crucial component for his reelection bid.

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