Joe Biden says ‘great nations don’t hide from their history’

Monday, August 22nd, 2022 09:10 | By
US President Joe Biden. Photo/Courtesy
US President Joe Biden. Photo/Courtesy

Marking Slavery Remembrance Day, United States President Joe Biden on Saturday said that “great nations don’t hide from their history.”

According to a statement from the White House, Biden highlighted that twenty African slaves, over 400 years ago, were brought forcefully to the coasts of what would eventually become the US.

He further added that in the years that followed, millions more were taken and sold as a result of the ‘system of slavery’, which is considered to be ‘America’s original sin’.

Addressing the event, President Biden said, “Great nations don’t hide from their history. They acknowledge their past, both the triumphs and the tragedies.” He further noted that August 20 is a day to consider both the horrible toll that slavery left behind and the incredible capacity of the US to recover and grow stronger.

Biden asserted in his statement, “Despite the horrors they faced, these men and women and their descendants have made countless contributions to the building of this nation and the continuous effort to realise the American ideal.”

Biden honoured to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

National holiday

In addition to this, Biden claimed that he was honoured to make Juneteenth a national holiday last year, giving them an additional opportunity to reflect and recommit to achieving a union that is more perfect; and for that reason, he said that his administration would keep up the challenging, continuing work needed to bring real fairness and racial justice to the nation.  

The US President further appreciated the efforts made by Congress, especially those of Representative Al Green and Senator Elizabeth Warren, to acknowledge the importance of this day.

According to a report by The Hill, last year, the MPs reintroduced legislation to commemorate slavery on August 20. The House approved legislation last month designating the day as a national holiday. It is further awaiting Senate consideration.

Domestic plan

Besides this, on August 16, Tuesday, President Biden delivered the “final piece” of his domestic plan, by signing Democrats’ historic climate change and health care measures into laws.

The measure would restrict the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries to $2,000 per year in out-of-pocket expenses and would feature the largest federal investment in history in the battle against climate change, totalling $375 billion over a ten-year period.

It would also continue subsidies offered during the coronavirus outbreak, aiding an estimated 13 million Americans in paying for health insurance, The Associated Press reported.

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