President Joe Biden aims to bring “unity” with his first words as president



As of Jan. 20, President Joe Biden is now the 46th president of the United States. Read more about what his plans are for his first days of presidency.

Students listening to President Joe Biden’s inaugural speech last week heard words such as “democracy,” “unity” and “people.”  While they welcome a new and diverse administration, some felt as though his speech was not fulfilling and expected a bit more from him.

“I do feel like he was sincere about it but at the same time I don’t know how to feel about it,” sophomore Naamah Silcott said. “It wasn’t as powerful as I think a lot of people want it to be. I think I’m kind of on the fence about it. It felt good to have somebody that I could at least consider a good person sort of but at the same time it didn’t feel fulfilling.” 

On Jan. 20, President Biden took the oath to become the 46th president of the United States outside the Capitol in Washington D.C., alongside Kamala Harris who became the first female, Black and South Asian vice president. History teachers Brenda Helfing and Francisco Ortega, as well as English teachers, were some of the teachers who showed the inauguration to their classes. 

Harris was the first person of color to be the district attorney of San Francisco, later becoming California’s attorney general. Before taking her oath on Jan. 20, Harris resigned from serving in the U.S Senate. Alex Padilla, California’s Secretary of State, has been assigned to fill the seat Harris held, becoming the first Latino California Senator.

“In my opinion, equality is what the world lacks,” sophomore Betel Herrera said. “People of color have always been treated differently and to know that Kamala Harris is the first (female vice president) is so remarkable and unforgettable.” 

Chaos occurred leading up to Inauguration Day. Just two weeks before this event, on Jan. 6, the U.S. Capitol building was attacked by former President Donald Trump’s supporters. On Jan. 13, Trump was impeached for inciting an insurrection. 

Due to COVID-19, this year’s inauguration crowd was smaller than previous years. People across the world tuned in to their local news channels to watch the inauguration. Many listened closely to hear what Biden plans to do in his first days of presidency. 

Viewers were able to see outstanding performances from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman. The “Parade Across America” was televised and held performances from communities across the country including a performance by Katy Perry ending the night with a firework celebration. The parade highlighted all the diversity, heritage and resilience of the country.  

“To all those who supported our campaign I am humbled by the faith you have placed in us,” Biden said in his inaugural speech. “To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. And if you still disagree, so be it.”

On the same day as his inauguration, Biden took some executive actions, including putting a pause on the border wall construction, ending the travel ban, stopping oil drilling in Alaska’s Wildlife Refuge and requiring masks on all federal property. As for Biden’s long term plans, he wants to insure affordable access to healthcare, help locate migrant parents who were separated from their children, protect LGBTQ+ individuals from gender identity discrimination in employment and much more. 

Biden has the most racially diverse presidential Cabinet nominees of all time. The heads of 15 executive departments and eight key positions are all racially and ethnically diverse. More than half of the nominees are women, being the most nominated for the presidential Cabinet. The Cabinet nominees are all religiously diverse as well. Some nominees are Catholic, Jewish, Hindu and some of them don’t identify with any religion.

“I am very happy that he is adding more people of color to the office because as I said before, they get treated differently just because of their skin tone and don’t get attention as much as they really should,” Herrera said.