“We’re all God’s children,” President Joe Biden said in a Wednesday morning address. “We should treat each other like we’d like to be treated ourselves.” With that, Biden rolled out another slew of executive orders, these ones inspired by the instances of racist police brutality that launched last summer’s historic movement for racial equality. In a brief address, Biden said the death of George Floyd “opened the eyes of millions” to the pervasiveness of racial injustice in the country.
To combat that injustice, Biden has directed the Department of Justice to not renew any contracts with private prison operators. “President Biden is committed to reducing mass incarceration while making our communities safer,” Susan Rice, who leads the White House Domestic Policy Council, told reporters. “That starts with ending the federal government’s reliance on private prisons.”
Biden is also telling the Department of Housing and Urban Development to “reassess” several of former President Donald Trump’s reforms, which include setting a higher legal threshold for plaintiffs to prove racial discrimination.
He also signed orders affirming tribal government’s sovereign control over their territories and a memorandum about the rise of anti-Asian rhetoric during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of it stemming from elected officials.
This joins some other early moves from the Biden administration, including extending his predecessor’s freezes on both federal evictions and monthly student loan payments. Biden has also discontinued Trump’s 1776 Commission, a controversial piece of reactionary curriculum started in response to the New York Times’ 1619 Project.