Weeks after earmarking a million dollars to empower marginalized racial and ethnic communities in Europe, the Biden administration is spending another million on a State Department program in Latin America known as Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion (RESI). The new allocation will help Brazil and Colombia “advance reforms that promote equity and equality, eliminate barriers to inclusion, and create equal access and opportunities for members of marginalized and underserved communities,” according to a grant announcement published a few days ago.
The recent European and Latin American grants appear to be the global expansion of the Biden administration’s costly, domestic effort to advance racial equity and support for underserved populations through taxpayer-funded programs. The president launched the governmentwide initiative on his first day in office with a lengthy executive order titled Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. The 2021 document claims that “entrenched disparities” in laws, public policies, and private institutions have denied equal opportunity to individuals and communities and that the health and climate crises have exposed inequities while a “historic movement for justice has highlighted the unbearable human costs of systemic racism.” Therefore, the order states, the federal government should pursue a “comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” It further says that “by advancing equity across the Federal Government, we can create opportunities for the improvement of communities that have been historically underserved, which benefits everyone.”
Many key federal agencies have implemented racial equity plans as per Biden’s order. The Department of Labor has dedicated $260 million to promote “equitable access” to government unemployment benefits by addressing disparities in the administration and delivery of money by race ethnicity and language proficiency. The Treasury Department named its first ever racial equity chief, a veteran La Raza official who spent a decade at the nation’s most influential open borders group. The Department of Defense (DOD) is using outrageous anti-bias materials that indoctrinate troops with anti-American and racially inflammatory training on diversity topics. The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) created an equity commission to address longstanding inequities in agriculture. The nation’s medical research agency has a special minority health and health disparities division that issued a study declaring COVID-19 exacerbated preexisting resentment against racial/ethnic minorities and marginalized communities.
Last month the administration launched the initiative’s global version by dedicating a million dollars to “empower marginalized racial and ethnic communities in Europe,” focusing on people of African descent and Roma people. Among the goals is to mitigate structural racism, xenophobia, and discrimination found in institutions designed to protect and serve all people in society and ensure the fair administration of, and access to, justice for marginalized racial and ethnic communities. The U.S. also aims to counter societal discrimination and violence by advancing equity, social inclusion, and equality for all. The overseas investment is critical, according to the Biden administration, because members of marginalized racial, ethnic, and indigenous communities around the world often are disproportionately discriminated against, forced to endure high levels of violence and excruciating labor conditions in migration, are systematically denied access to justice, and continually bear the brunt of racial discrimination, xenophobia, and violence in society.
The administration’s latest allotment in Latin America will fund two programs, the Colombia Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality (CAPREE) and the Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (JAPER). CAPREE recognizes the important contributions of African-descendent and indigenous peoples and seeks to elevate recognition of their cultures in the U.S. and Colombia by implementing programs to address social barriers that affect Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities. JAPER targets racism and addresses racial health disparities, environmental justice, equal access to economic opportunities and equal access to the justice system. The initiative recognizes that Brazil and the U.S. are multi-ethnic, multi-racial democracies that celebrate the rich contributions of people of African descent and indigenous populations. Similar to the domestic initiatives, the goal in Colombia and Brazil is racial and ethnic equality as well as social inclusion.