The Latino community is hurting, record levels of unemployment caused by an indifferent president and an out of control pandemic have left Latinos down, but not out. Large numbers of Latinos are working class, many are not currently able to work or get tested for Covid-19. Those Latinos lucky enough to work are essential workers, who are putting their lives at risk to keep our country healthy and fed.
Despite everything, Latinos give America, this president has turned his back on us. At a time when this country needed his help, he callously golfed while Senate Republicans walked away from Coronavirus stimulus negotiations. With so many Latinos suffering, losing family members, and their jobs due to this deadly virus, we need a leader who knows what it's like to come back from adversity stronger than before. Latinos, and our country, need a leader like Joe Biden.
Vice President Biden has a history of overcoming tragedy. Like Latinos who are suffering during this administration, Joe Biden knows what it’s like to be down but not out, to fight back for the love of family to overcome adversity.
In 1972, after being elected a senator for Delaware his wife and three children were Christmas shopping when a tractor-trailer broadsided them and killed his wife and daughter. "It was profoundly unfair, to take a mother from her children; to take a daughter from her father. Joe Biden had had everything, and in a horrible second, it was gone," Jill Biden, wrote in her autobiography Where The Light Enters.
Senator Biden went on to be a successful member of Congress despite his brutal losses. As a Senator, he focused on fighting for working-class families. He continued this focus, as the Vice President of the United States in President Barack Obama’s administration.
Under the Obama administration, Vice President Biden spearheaded the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health care legislation that gave millions of Latinos health care, and dropped the overall number of people lacking health insurance by 15 million. Today, the ACA is a lifeline for millions of essential workers facing this pandemic, while President Trump tries to strike it down in court.
Vice President Biden worked with Congress to lead the charge against the economic crisis inherited from George W. Bush’s administration. Biden helped lead a remarkable economic recovery that ultimately gained a net 11.6 million jobs, dropping the unemployment rate below the historical norm. Average weekly earnings for all workers went up 4.2 percent after inflation. The Hispanic unemployment rate dropped from its peak of 13 percent in August 2009, to 5.7% under the Obama-Biden administration.
After Vice President Biden’s son Beau died of cancer, he was set to spend his life devoted to finding a cure for the disease that took his eldest son’s life, when he realized:
"He's [Beau’s] the one who wanted me to stay engaged," Vice President Biden told Joe Scarborough. "And it didn't mean I had to run for president, but he was worried I would walk away from what I've worked on my whole life. Beau should be the one running for president, not me. Every morning I get up Joe, not a joke, and I think to myself, 'Is he proud of me?"
Today, amidst unprecedented challenges, Vice President Biden is running not fueled by a need for power, but from a place of empathy and resilience. Latinos are tired and hurt. They are not looking for a handout, but they do need help like everyone else. Joe Biden knows how to come back from loss, he knows how to build back better. He would never stand by and let unemployment insurance expire for millions of Americans, he would never let Congress leave town without a plan to help Americans.
Our community needs strong leadership to help solve the seemingly insurmountable challenges that our country faces. But more than that, we need a leader who understands loss. We need someone who knows what it's like to pull themselves up off the mat after being knocked down. Someone who can empathize with the loss of everyday Americans, and fight to help them.
Joe Biden has spent his life fighting for those who need help most, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because he knows exactly how hard it is to come back from adversity. Now perhaps more than ever America needs a leader and a healer, this election cycle for Latinos, that man is Joe Biden.