Biden vows to fight racial inequality with economic agenda

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden promised Tuesday that his economic agenda would combat long-standing racial inequalities as he sought to draw another sharp contrast with President Donald Trump.

Biden said the Republican president is exacerbating social discord across the country, including by sending federal authorities into major cities under the pretense of addressing crime.

And he said Trump has little interest in addressing the racism that Biden said has been laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately claims people of color as its victims, or in an election-year reckoning with police violence against Black men.

“He can’t turn the economy around. He’s determined to stoke division and chaos,” Biden said, speaking in a community center gymnasium in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. “It’s not good for the country, but Donald Trump doesn’t care. His campaign is failing and he’s looking for a lifeline.”

Biden countered with a litany of proposals to steer federal money and tax credits to small business and economic development programs for minority-owned firms and disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Biden also said he’d encourage home ownership to help close wealth gaps among minority communities and push the nation’s banking system, including the Federal Reserve, to more directly address economic inequality.

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