Racial equity executive orders

Sirius XM’s Mike Muse and Leah Wright Rigueur, an associate professor of history, discuss President Joe Biden's new executive actions addressing race issues in the U.S.
9:18 | 01/26/21

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Transcript for Racial equity executive orders
And president Biden. To turn doing the agenda that he's got as signs for more executive orders today and this batch. There's all focused on racial equality which was the centerpiece of his campaign listen. The simple truth is our soul be troubled as long systemic racism is allowed to persist. We can't eliminate exactly overnight. We can eliminate everything but it's corrosive this destructive and it's costly. It cost every American not just who felt the sting of racial injustice. President of United States there are so. Today's order to advance fair housing which has been a source of so much discrimination and the use of private prisons that's a big one reestablish Federalist respect for tribal sovereignty. An ancient problem in this country and taking aim at fighting xenophobia against Asian American CC the Brett. Of those orders signed by president Biden so for more on what they could do forgo her equality in America let's bring back. American history in public policy especially right regard and bring in. Our ABC news Kurt contributor Mike muse so Leah let me begin with you. What do you think of these orders do you think you're gonna have a real impact on the lives of Americans are razed a mosque. Assume aren't sure I don't call them essentially absent Kansas symbol it's gotten. I'm you know there are not various parts of the executive orders that the immediate. And for free sample of the NR Freddie prinze. Support for private that the dentist are really big deal. I'm also to stay healthy you can see I'm investigation are discrimination. In the executive order on housed under the administration essentially kind on do you. Some of the anti discrimination matters are it is the policy that have been done by the administration under her that's a huge thing it's well. A speak the you know that questions around indigenous and tribal sovereignty is a symbolic in general that stack attendants that. Towards establishing this idea of racial equity brought passions of racial equity. We shall these his first. And there's still much more thinking back ten meet Don in that people on the ground are expecting to beat you know there's only so much that you can cuter executive order. But I think this is a purse that both symbolically and substantively. To say look now there's room to push for so much more. Had to put it behind his agenda in these early days and and Mike muse. This private prison in order you know. That car several state could we have as have travel around a woman in prisons around the world the prison industrial complex in the United States is just astonishing. Two million Americans incarcerated in the justice system a majority of people of color. So how will of the DOJ is use of private pretty as prisons and what Joseph Biden wants to do and it's got to address that issue. I think it's an incredible stat and our prison system currently right now is federalized and have received report of the federal government. How what is happening is when you start to do that you begin to untangle. Campaign finance reform there's so many judges who are tied to hear these private corporations. That are over in sentencing black and brown individuals in our leaders of porcelain black men that overly sentence and ordered to help but they're campaign finance nor to help keep their prison system populated to ensure that these prison systems are are created to house black and brown and majority and win and and so as a result of eliminating the federal contracts you then begin to disrupt that system because it's an entire criminal justice ecosystem that comes down to attorney general's political for sentencing at who are elected true received campaign contributions are from these private corporations that all the weights they judge in terms of how they're sentenced in all the way into how they're held in the prison system and so is really important that is done for me I look at this as. It's the first week ambassador Susan Rice has press conference earlier today she said according give us a couple of days to get to working on more and so is extremely important that it is racial equity my president Biden so eloquently described it today he talked about it from a zero sum game he says not to zero Sunday. There's not that it I did it is that you loses he'd talked about all we know the rising highs list thus far left and I think that is as important he talked about that. Because Terry President Obama was the explainer in chief when he came to racial equity and as we got with the former president we allow that. White supremacy and Xena former yet to populated in the Oval Office and get coverage. It's true that we tweets that he had. It has now the awareness and responsibility and others by the administration to become explainer in chief again to talk about racial equity some of wrought six. In a real sense from the Oval Office to give it levity but Terry eve what's important is that. Susan Rice isn't the only once in doubt let's talk about racial equity now we need white allies to be engaged in conversation and I needed to white. Secretaries of states to write the white secretaries in the cabinet. And leadership has no prior administrations to talk about the race that equities at dinner agencies to explain so American public why it's so important. Such a great point and and we do have a change in tone in one wonders if that'll at the top in the Oval Office one wonders that that will change the culture Leah. How about that and and how about the order that he specifically addressed a fair housing we still struggles so much in this country. With the with the hat to neighborhoods in our our own neighbors what we coming. We just get a wise ourselves sent it to use the old world word what so what do you think about Biden on that issue. Sleeping you know one of the things that we should point how larger story it air out is equal house. Street housing has been massed on it had been discriminatory. Has been predatory. It's been deeply unequal in an equitable. I'm and it is the Mike Turk island how we treat people in the United States aren't we are under house and we are under. And not enough. Housing let there be housing vouchers or thinks they say is let there be clean and state. Speaks. And late think what and in last word here is that the trump administration instituted and institute a number changes that actually told the language discrimination. Out follow. The content our housing in America. And so what we're seeing here with a biting negotiation is an attempt to correct that. But also investigate what kind of harm with dine. During that period when we have all of these changes that's going to be deeply important in fact an alternate all that has happened. Under the housing administration if not the other agencies and departments is going to be necessary in order to have these first steps towards racial equity in America. Mike I want to ask about about. President Biden's relationship. With the black community in America one of the reasons I think he defeated president trump was this engagement in the democracy. By so many black voters and in so many places fail led in Georgia and in some ways across the country by Stacey Abrams. How much is is Joseph Biden. Are earning the trust keeping the trust of the of so many voters who put him in that office. Terry that's as a request that you actors that's important. Because the first time black boys are seeing that that their vote does count. And action can happen human black voters come out in -- was and change can occur but now black voters are now. Sad need to begin to hold the these presidents accountable now there's no longer risen gets into office he went to work and our behalf. But instead and one of his speeches his victory speech is he said. I hold my presents an African American community I believe was his quote and he said I won't forget that I won't let you down I think this action today it was very important when it comes of that but we have to begin to lean insist it's we got good to go from. Seven but symbolism and symbolic signing that you mentioned early but the gas. Actual should a specific nest particular on the campus mobbed his administration would be more specific conversations around. Access to federal contracts for black Americans and only that expanding a day eight a program in only that working with private banks and ensure. That blacks have access to capital or to fulfill those type of contracts. More specific language when it comes the Department of Education to ensure a black and brown boys and girls can re professionally by the end of the third grade in order to advance a fourth grade so they they get off of the school to prison pipeline. So yes the symbolism is important executive actions matter and particularly in the first week to show his commitments a black and brown community but now we need more specific language. I don't think Terry T but we need more commissions and restrict studies anymore. I think we're commission doubt now I think now with the black community want is action specifically and we don't want brought Lang who which we don't want. Every view for two years we don't want to research study for eight years. Looming black in America we live that experience and we know what it's like it's on now we need specific language it's been specific wording. Hard work ahead work really for all of us clear right rigor and my PS thanks.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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