I love the fact that President Joe Biden has received justified criticism for his handling of the border and the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

As a supporter of President Biden and a patriot, I want to see him do well because that means the greatest country known to man is doing well.

But wanting to see him succeed for the good of the country does not mean he does not deserve criticism when he does poorly because that is not how democracies work.

During the administration of former President Donald Trump, Republicans and Trump cult followers made it seem that criticizing Trump was akin to blasphemy as if the 44 presidents that preceded him did not face the same ridicule when they made mistakes or misspoke.

That mentality, which still persists in a Republican Party that fears alienating Trump’s cult followers at the ballot box, was doing more to damage America and its reputation than any policy decision made by the Biden administration.

But make no mistake about it, the Biden administration looks horrible for its treatment of Haitian refugees, and for its debacle of a withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Despite Biden’s flaws, after four years of a wannabe dictator too sensitive to accept criticism, it is refreshing to see the current president’s own party and organizations that supported his candidacy in 2020 hold his feet to the fire to make sure he makes good on his numerous promises as it pertains to immigration and Black people.

From an optics perspective, Biden’s treatment of refugees looks no better than Trump’s.

 Trump separated children from their parents and held immigrants in cages.

Under Biden’s presidency, border patrol has turned into plantation overseers, apparently using reins as whips to keep their “Negroes” in their place.

Journalist Benjamin Wermund of the Houston Chronicle’s Washington Bureau wrote, “President Joe Biden is under increasing pressure from civil rights groups and some Democrats to stop using (a) Trump-era public health order to expel migrants as his administration ramps up mass deportations of Haitian refugees in Del Rio.

“Leaders from virtually every major civil rights group in the country signed a scathing letter to Biden on Wednesday accusing him of breaking campaign promises to build a more ‘humane’ immigration system after the Trump administration.”

Biden has received criticism from the left and from civil rights groups because he has deported some Haitian refugees without even hearing their asylum claims.

Some Haitian asylum seekers were put on airplanes and not told where they were going.

When many realized that they had landed in Haiti, and not someplace in the United States, they tried to force their way back onto the airplanes.

 The Biden administration has used Title 42 to manage the crisis at the border, claiming that they sent refugees back to their homeland because of the health threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, critics say that there are other ways that the Biden administration can mitigate the risks of COVID-19 without arbitrarily sending asylum seekers back to Haiti without hearing their case.

Some of the Haitian migrants forced to return to Haiti, left the country a decade ago and had been living in Latin America for years.

As a result, the Haiti that they were forced to return to is not the same as the homeland they left after the devastating Haitian earthquake a decade ago.

Leaders from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP Defense and Educational Fund and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights wrote, “We fear that commitments made on the campaign trail—to uphold the United States’ domestic and international legal obligation to asylum, to end privatized detention, and to disentangle federal immigration enforcement from local law enforcement—are being shredded before our eyes.”

Although Black Americans played a vital role in elevating Biden to the Oval Office, many Black politicians and voters have rightfully criticized the Biden administration because of the way they have apparently treated Black refugees as opposed to the “red carpet” being rolled out for Afghan refugees.

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said, “What the world has witnessed over the last few days at the Texas border is an inhumane disregard for Black lives. The images of Haitians being shamelessly charged by some U.S. Border Patrol officers using reins as lashes is disturbingly reminiscent of some of the darkest chapters in history, of a time when runaway slaves were rounded up like cattle. Black Lives Matter in Haiti and at the southern border.”

But while Biden definitely deserves the criticism coming from other Democratic leaders, Republicans and Trump supporters should not delight in that criticism.

If Trump supporters had reined Trump in and criticized him when he deserved it instead of cowering like scared weaklings, maybe Trump would have gotten a second term.

Additionally, Biden is facing some criticism for maintaining Trump rules on immigration.

More importantly, if more Republicans and conservative media outlets like Fox News had held their lord and savior Trump accountable, maybe Democrats would not control the House of Representatives and hold the tie-breaker in the Senate.

Instead of delighting in the criticism that Biden is rightfully receiving, they should be kicking themselves for not having the onions that Democratic and Black community leaders have.

Nevertheless, the last week should be a warning to Biden and any other Democrat.

The Black community’s vote is not guaranteed.

Treat the Black community like an afterthought and you kiss our support goodbye.

While most Black Americans will never support Trump, that does not automatically mean support for Biden.

Support must be earned every four years for a president and the lesser of two evils is no longer good enough for Black patriots.

Therefore, do better, Mr. President.

Todd A. Smith
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