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You owe us! Oh, wait

Perhaps without checking the numbers, two new Democratic members of Congress say President-elect Joe Biden owes his win to Black and brown people.

"Black and brown communities organized across the country to make sure Joe Biden won the White House," said Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman of New York, "and he did that, but now it's time for payback. And now it's time to make sure that we invest the resources necessary to rebuild our nation in a way that is representative of all of us, so we can truly have the people's house."

Said Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist from Missouri: "Black and brown communities showed up and made sure that people were out showing up to vote. So we're asking you to show up for us."

Where it comes to "payback," Bowman specifically had in mind Biden's promise of a $2 trillion investment in environment justice and $2 trillion for climate investments. Of that, the income lawmaker said "40%" of both amounts has been pledged to "disadvantaged communities" and "districts like mine across the country."

What Bowman and Bush may have been unaware of was that Black and brown communities gave less of their votes to Biden than they did to Hillary Clinton four years ago — about 3% less, according to an Edison Research, as cited by The Washington Post.

 

Gift for Republicans?

President-elect Joe Biden's selection for secretary of Homeland Security, whose open-door policy to migrants helped sink support for former President Barack Obama's immigration policies in 2014, may be among the first appointees to run into trouble gaining approval if Republicans hold the United States Senate.

Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban immigrant, headed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2009 to 2014 under Obama. He was approved then in only a party-line vote.

During his term, he both maximized migration inflows but also worked to reduce fraud detection projects. When 350,000 migrants — including 68,000 youth and children — arrived from Mexico and Latin America in 2014, the end was near for both him in the administration and support for the administration's policy.

That year, those who thought the president's immigration policies were on the "wrong track" jumped from 60% in March to 68% in July and eventually reached 72%.

He "is a gift for Republicans who want to make an issue of Biden's immigration policies," said Jessica Vaughn of the Center for Immigration Studies.

 

'Grown' from supporting terrorism

The incoming Biden presidential administration has tapped a Capitol Hill aide as deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs — not exactly a position trumpeted on the evening news — but officials raced to get out in front of the woman's past.

In 2005, Reema Dodin, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, defended the use of suicide bombers that helped to kill some 1,100 Israelis during a Palestinian uprising between 2000 and 2005, saying "suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people."

She went on the become the floor leader and deputy chief of staff for Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois. Now she will become the first Palestinian American to serve on the White House staff.

Once Dodin was named, Biden officials rushed to separate her from her past, saying, "Reema is the first to tell you she has grown from her youth in her approach to pushing for change "

Time and administration policies will tell if that is actually the case.

Who wants unity?

Teen Vogue, once a place where teen girls could go for fashion and beauty tips, has gone all "1619 Project" on its readers.

Columnist Kandist Mallett, who previously decried the "cruelty of payment-based housing," in saying the country should move toward the end of property rights, wrote that the U.S. is rooted in "divisiveness," was founded "through the genocide of Indigenous peoples," and flourished "through the enslavement of Africans."

"At its core," she went on, "America's values are white supremacy and capitalism. That is true no matter who has been in office."

Mallett doesn't have much good to say about the new president-elect, either.

Biden, she said, is only "the lesser of two evils," and his call for a "united America" is "nationalist propaganda."

"Americans have never been united," she said, "and have been kept apart and pitted against one another by the state."

And Mallett had more to say.

"Why should people who have been systematically oppressed — and who have struggled against the government for true freedom — be asked to hold hands with their oppressors?" she wrote. "Why are we still acting like we can get along with these people — or would we even want to?"

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