Joe Biden Again Tries to Heal a Hurting Nation. But Is It Enough?

Richard Ellis/ZUMA Wire

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Early Sunday morning—after another day of largely peaceful protests against the death of George Floyd, and another night of police violently targeting protesters—Joe Biden told the country “we are a nation furious at injustice.” 

Posted to Medium, the new statementhis second since the death of Floyd—is another stunning contrast to our commander in chief, who has threatened that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Biden wrote: 

I know that there are people all across this country who are suffering tonight. Suffering the loss of a loved one to intolerable circumstances, like the Floyd family, or to the virus that is still gripping our nation. Suffering economic hardships, whether due to COVID-19 or entrenched inequalities in our system. And I know that a grief that dark and deep may at times feel too heavy to bear.

I know.

And I also know that the only way to bear it is to turn all that anguish to purpose. So tonight, I ask all of America to join me — not in denying our pain or covering it over — but using it to compel our nation across this turbulent threshold into the next phase of progress, inclusion, and opportunity for our great democracy.

It’s a nice sentiment. But is it enough?

Astead Herndon at the New York Times has a powerful piece out this morning which plainly argues that Biden’s calls for a return to “normalcy” won’t be enough to truly address the concerns of Black Americans: “The former vice president, one of the Senate architects of the modern criminal justice system, cannot confront racism without addressing systemic inequalities, and he cannot address systemic inequalities by simply returning to a pre-Trump America.”

“Our needs aren’t moderate,” Jesse Jackson tells Astead. “The absence of Trump is not enough.”

As you try to process what’s happening today, it’s worth reading Biden’s statement. But then be sure to read the full NYT story as well.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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