President Biden says that a black entrepreneur “usually doesn’t have a lawyer”

President Joe Biden addressed the 2021 South Carolina State Fall graduating class this weekend and was quoted saying that a black entrepreneur “usually doesn’t have a lawyer.”

In context, South Carolina State University is a historically black college and is the alma mater of the U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who is a top-ranking Black member of Congress (WYFF 4). Clyburn was intended to be the keynote speaker, but had invited President Biden to give the address.

In his address, Biden touched on how this class overcame a tumultuous time in American history, and how they have the chance to change the country’s course of history moving forward (White House). He used the opportunity to highlight his success in delivering nearly $5 billion to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Biden specified that for SC State in particular, the funds helped more than 2,500 students become debt free.

In addition to these funds, Biden promised an increase in Pell Grants, expanding HBCU programs for in-demand fields, and criminal justice reform. The George Floyd Justice Act is meant to accomplish specifically criminal justice and police reform, but has not yet been passed in the Senate.

Additionally, Biden spoke of increasing police funding, expanding internships, summer programs, and adding focus to helping incarcerated people reenter society. Biden also promised to use federal funding to unlock billions of dollars for new opportunities for minority owned businesses to access government contracts.

“The goal I’ve set is 50% increase in the number of minority contracts going to minority firms by the year 2025. Because, folks, what did we learn? We learned there’s no difference between a Black entrepreneur and a white entrepreneur in success, except the Black entrepreneur usually doesn’t have a lawyer, usually doesn’t have someone who is going to be there – an accountant to get it all set up. Their idea is as profound, but the help is missing.”

According to the Washington Examiner, President Biden is under fire for his comments from the commencement speech. 

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