Biden tells Black voters "I need you" in 2024, but makes no mention of a big campaign promise

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday launched their campaign initiative targeting Black voters – but made no mention of delivering on reparations.

President Joe Biden applauds during a campaign event targeting Black voters at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
President Joe Biden applauds during a campaign event targeting Black voters at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  © REUTERS

The incumbent White House pair kicked off their Black Voters for Biden-Harris initiative at a rally at Philadelphia's Girard College, a majority-Black boarding school.

"Philadelphia, in Joe Biden, we have a fighter; a leader with skill, vision, determination, and compassion; a leader who keeps his promises," Harris said to a cheering crowd.

"As a candidate for president, Joe Biden gave his word that we would fight to address some of the biggest issues facing the Black community, and we have delivered," she added.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. accuses CNN of breaking the law in last-ditch effort to make debate stage
Politicians Robert F. Kennedy Jr. accuses CNN of breaking the law in last-ditch effort to make debate stage

Biden and Harris touted some of what they see as their administration's biggest achievements, including capping the cost of insulin for seniors, partially canceling student debt, passing gun reforms, investing in infrastructure, and nominating the first Black female Supreme Court justice.

The president punctuated his remarks with the repeated refrain of "a promise made and a promise kept," while the audience welcomed him with chants of "Four more years!"

The presumptive Democratic nominee then turned to the challenge ahead in 2024: defeating his Republican predecessor at the ballot box come November.

"Because Black America voted in 2020 [...] Kamala and I are president and vice president of the United States. Because of you. That's not hyperbole," Biden told the packed auditorium.

"With your vote in 2024, we're going to make Donald Trump a loser again," he continued. "I'm still optimistic, but I need you."

Biden and Harris make no mention of reparations

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala interact with supporters as they leave a campaign event at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala interact with supporters as they leave a campaign event at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  © REUTERS

During the Philadelphia event, Biden and Harris made no mention of another 2020 campaign promise: advancing reparatory justice for Black Americans.

In 2020's Lift Every Voice: The Biden Plan for Black America, the two candidates expressed support for a federal reparations study.

Racial justice advocates have urged the president to follow through by establishing a reparations commission by executive order.

Biden pushes Gaza ceasefire deal in Eid message to Muslims
Joe Biden Biden pushes Gaza ceasefire deal in Eid message to Muslims

Now, as a Trump rematch looms, data suggest Biden may be losing the critical mass of Black votes he needs to win reelection, with advocates warning that enacting a reparations commission may be Biden's key to success in 2024.

The Democratic incumbents have also faced a growing number of Americans – particularly young voters and voters of color – expressing frustration over the US government's ongoing support for Israel's brutal war on Gaza, which has reached genocidal proportions according to human rights organizations, academic experts, and an increasing number of states.

Nearby the Philadelphia event, a gathering of protesters wearing keffiyehs voiced their opposition to the administration's harmful policies toward Israel and Palestine.

Cover photo: REUTERS

More on Joe Biden: