Leading Black civil rights groups including the NAACP condemned the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn President Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness plan, arguing the decision will further broaden the racial wealth gap. 

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said the court “abandoned Black borrowers” and missed an opportunity to narrow the racial wealth gap in America. 

“The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the President’s student debt program is a clear disregard for what millions of Americans need — especially Black Americans,” said Johnson. 

“Despite today’s upsetting ruling, we demand that the Biden Administration delivers on the promise of student loan debt relief. Education has long been regarded as a path toward generational wealth, economic liberation, and securing the American dream. Let’s be clear — student debt is killing that dream,” he added. 

President Biden will announce new actions to protect student loan borrowers Friday, the White House announced after the ruling. 

Johnson said the NAACP “will not stop until student debt relief becomes a reality,” adding, “America has so easily forgiven greedy corporations for their debts – why would they refuse to provide the same grace and investment in our own students?” 

The NAACP rallied with others outside the Supreme Court after the decision Friday. 

Wisdom Cole, national director of youth and college for NAACP, said Friday’s decision was “devastating” as “the cries of Black Americans continue to fall on deaf ears.” 

“We cannot thrive as a nation if we do not close the racial wealth gap,” said Cole. “Taking the first step to relieve us from student debt is taking a first step towards true equity in a system that was built against us. We refuse to accept defeat. We refuse to live through a reality where our potential for growth and prosperity is hindered by predatory lenders and passive politicians.” 

Other leading Black organizations also expressed their displeasure with the Court. 

David Johns, executive director for the National Black Justice Coalition, said Friday’s decision will burden future generations. 

“Student loan debt is an urgent crisis that disproportionately burdens Black and LGBTQ+ students, compounding barriers in accessing post-secondary opportunities and achieving equity and justice, more generally,” said Johns. 

“Our communities often face intersecting forms of discrimination and systemic disadvantages, restricting access to higher education and economic opportunities. The Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to provide targeted relief for borrowers, including those from marginalized communities, are necessary steps in addressing student loan debt disparities and promoting educational equity. Our democracy will be weakened as a result of this ruling.” 

Johns, the NAACP and many others are calling on Biden to find other ways to fulfill his 2020 campaign promise of student loan forgiveness. 

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have added their voices to that call. 

Though members such as Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), the caucus chairman, applauded Biden for his original plan, they also added he must “follow through on his promise and act swiftly and decisively to deliver this transformative relief.” 

In a statement, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) vowed that the fight is not over. 

“I am calling on President Biden and Secretary Cardona to use other tools available to them to swiftly cancel student debt. The people demand and deserve this long overdue economic relief and a promise is a promise. The Biden Administration should act immediately. I won’t let up.” 


Source: Cheyanne M. Daniels 

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