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Celtics wing Jaylen Brown on Joe Biden replacing Donald Trump: ‘We still have a lot of work to do’

Celtics wing Jaylen Brown

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 20: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics shoots a free-throw during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 20, 2021 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Racism didn’t begin with Donald Trump. It won’t end with Donald Trump.

As the NBA celebrated Joe Biden becoming president, Celtics wing Jaylen Brown provided valuable perspective.

Brown, via Tom Westerholm of Boston.com:

“I want people to keep the same energy, and just because we have a new president doesn’t mean the system doesn’t need to be changed and people need to be pacified or anything like that,” Brown said. “We’ve got to keep the same energy up, people still have to care, people still need to make phone calls. I’m looking forward to continuing to fight for change.”
“I think we’ve seen this before,” Brown said. “I think we’ve had, in the past, previous presidents or previous people in place who gave those same glimmers of hope. And people were still dying that should not have died. The system — people were still being incarcerated at a high rate. There’s still systemic oppression that exists. So I think we’ve seen these situations before… I don’t want to be pessimistic, but I think now having a new face, people are taking their foot off the gas and thinking that everything is OK now and I would like to challenge that. I think that we still have a lot of work to do, regardless if Biden is in office or not.”

Racism is so ingrained in the American system, it can’t simply be removed. And it’s foolish to expect this administration to push the issue beyond what’s politically expedient.

Biden was behind the 1994 crime bill, which hastened mass incarceration – disproportionately of Black people. This was not an isolated incident. Biden has a longer history of anti-crime legislation that, like most anti-crime legislation, disproportionately harms Black people.

Vice President Kamala Harris also has a harsh record as county prosecutor, district attorney and California attorney general. Again, her punitive tactics (except toward police) disproportionately harmed Black people.

Brown’s advocacy last summer was important, and he’s up for more. Hopefully, his energy for continuing the fight proves contagious.