In the US, a president doesn’t just enter office after they are elected – there is a waiting period that extends until January 20th, during which time the former US president must carry out their last actions in office before the new president is inaugurated. Recently, Joe Biden was inaugurated as US President, and he has officially begun his term. However, many things happened during Trump’s last two months in office.
Trump rushed several federal executions, including that of Dustin John Higgs, an innocent man whose freedom many people were fighting for. Trump also rolled back protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and incited a violent coup against Congress. I know, that’s a lot to take in.
On Jan. 6th, 2020, Pro-Trump protestors stormed the US Capitol building, which contains the offices of House and Senate members.
The insurrectionists endangered the lives of hundreds of Congress members, as Congress was in session during the riot, and attacked Capitol police. Trump delayed calling for peace until the very last moment, when he tweeted a video that, in my personal opinion, only poured gasoline on the fire. Since then, Trump’s Twitter account has been permanently suspended, and he has been banned from all major social media platforms due to the risk of inciting further violence.
In addition to this, Trump made it legal for LGBTQ+ citizens to be discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality and/or gender identity. This includes healthcare protections, marriage protections, and protections against discrimination when a same-sex couple wants to adopt a child.
However, while that was Trump’s last act in office, Biden’s first act was to restore these LGBTQ+ rights. Biden also plans to do many more things for the LGBTQ+ community, including restoring transgender healthcare protections, which Trump took away. While Biden has done much for the LGBTQ+ community on his first day, he has yet to undo everything Trump has done to the community.
Joe Biden also plans to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump left earlier in his presidency. This agreement means huge things for the environment, and rejoining it could mean major strides towards fixing climate change.
In addition, Biden promised to rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO), which Trump left earlier this year. This is especially important because of the current pandemic, so many Biden supporters are pushing for him to do so as quickly as possible.
While Biden has done so many good things and will do many more good things, we must continue to hold him accountable. Biden has a history of racism, homophobia, and transphobia, and on top of that, we must push him to keep his promises and protect minorities. While we can take the time to celebrate Biden’s inauguration, minorities in the US still face heavy discrimination, and we must fight to stop this.