In a press release shared with Blavity, the Democratic campaign said President Donald Trump “has failed Black men,” and that a Biden-Harris administration will instead work to empower Black men and the Black community in general.
With these ideas in mind, here are five things the Biden-Harris campaign is doing to reach Black men:
Outreach to HBCUs
On Monday, Harris spoke at Shaw University, an HBCU in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Raleigh News & Observer reports that her remarks centered around the Supreme Court and the threat that President Trump's nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, posed for the Affordable Care Act and other important issues. Harris, herself an HBCU graduate, has previously promised significant financial support for HBCU students under a Biden-Harris administration.
"Shop Talk" roundtable conversations
Harris later met with voters in the parking lot of a local barbershop in what the campaign describes as a cross between the "Sister to Sister" roundtable talks that Harris has been attending with Black women voters and the series of "Shop Talk" discussions with Black men that the Biden campaign has featured in a set of television ads.
Earlier this week, the Biden-Harris campaign conducted "homepage takeovers" of popular Black websites. The campaign also posted a video message from President Barack Obama on the homepage of The Shade Room, encouraging viewers to vote early and "not leave anything to chance."
Senator Harris appeared in a video posted on the site Young Black and Fabulous, similarly urging early and enthusiastic voting.
The "Build Back Better" Economic Plan
Biden has promoted his Build Back Better economic plan as a way to combat racial inequalities through provisions such as raising the federal minimum wage, granting $15,000 tax credit for first-time home purchase and channeling $5 billion in annual lending and investment through the Minority Business Development Agency. The Charlotte Observer reports that Biden discussed his policies for economic empowerment and racial justice reforms during a Black Economic Summit held in the city last Wednesday.
Biden's plan contrasts with that of President Trump, who, spoke at a “Black Economic Empowerment” event in Atlanta last Friday. During his speech, the president gave details from his own economic plan for Black Americans, which his campaign has dubbed the “Platinum Plan for Black Americans.” According to the Trump campaign website, the Platinum Plan would “increase access to capital in black communities by almost $500 billion” through policies such as infrastructure building, tax cuts and support for HBCUs.
Challenging President Trump's record
The Biden for President campaign's critique of Trump focuses on three points: the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black health and employment, Trump stirring up racial division and violence and the Trump administration removing protections against discrimination and excessive punishment in schools. Flipping Trump’s 2016 appeal to Black Americans, when the president asked Black people “what do you have to lose?” by supporting him over Hillary Clinton, the Biden-Harris Campaign argues that “Black Americans, especially Black men, risk losing everything in Trump’s America.”
Attacking racial injustice
The Biden-Harris campaign has proposed many measures to tackle racial injustice. In campaign material shared with Blavity, the campaign lists among its priorities reducing incarceration (including a pledge of $1 billion towards juvenile justice reform), expanding the Affordable Care Act, making higher education affordable for Black men, protecting Black men's voting rights (including restoring the Voting Rights Act in honor of late Rep. John Lewis), and tackling environmental issues that disproportionately impact Black communities.
With just over one month before the November 3 election and early voting well underway, the presidential campaigns will be pressing hard to court Black voters, with Black men representing a particularly important voting demographic.