Why inclusive policy is a critical next step for diverse Biden administration

华盛顿州 在星期一, Vice President Kamala Harris ceremonially swore in President Joe Biden’s defense secretary pick, retired Gen. 劳埃德·奥斯丁, on a day that also saw the President reverse his predecessor’s transgender military ban.

Together, the two events served as a potent reminder that the representation that Biden correctly seeks both matters and isn’t everything. 那是, representation, on its own, won’t improve the lives of people whom society has long marginalized.
Policy is necessary, 太.
The country’s first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president swearing in the first Black American to run the Defense Department: It was hard to miss the magnitude of the imagery, which epitomized the record diversity of the Biden administration.
    There’s been no shortage of coverage of the valuesymbolic and substantivethat Harris brings to her role as Biden’s lieutenant, particularly given that the former California senator is expected to be the most powerful vice president in history.
    与此同时, Austin’s elevation to defense secretary marks a moving turning point for an institution where people of color make up 43% 的 1.3 million service members on active duty in the US but are broadly absent from the military’s top brass, 根据《纽约时报》.
    It is the uniform service that has long acted as a path of upward mobility for Black Americans, and the present day is no different,” Bishop Garrison, the director of national security outreach at Human Rights First, wrote in December for Just Security. “Even still, the most senior positions and ranks within the military remain elusive. Leaders such as Austin are unique in the fact that he has continuously navigated racial barriers successfully.
    At least as meaningful as representation: the kind of action that betters people’s lives in a more tangible manner.
    Enter Biden, with his repeal via executive order of the Trump-era ban on transgender people serving in the military.
    True to form, President Donald Trump had announced the ban in a series of tweets in July 2017, saying that transgender people would be prohibited from servicein any capacity.
    The previous administration was known for scaling back hard-fought LGBTQ rights, as has been well documented.
    That Biden was widely expected to reverse the ban didn’t diminish the moment’s significance.
    This is reinstating a position that the previous commanders as well as the secretaries have supported,” the President said on Monday, shortly before signing the executive order. “And what I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform.
    Biden’s words echoed Austin’s.
    I truly believe, 参议员, that as I said in my opening statement, if you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve,” Austin said in his confirmation hearing on Friday.
      十一月, I argued that Biden’s including transgender Americans in his victory address was momentous because the move brought with it the promise of LGBTQ equality under the new administration.
      已经, Biden has started to make good on that promise, offering representation, 是, but also much, much more.