President Joe Biden unveiled a plan to cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for qualifying students. The intended measure will include $10,000 in loan forgiveness for borrowers who make less than $125,000 annually. It all goes through, it would be the largest loan forgiveness of student loans per borrower in history, The Hill reported. The plan also includes an extension of the payment pause for at least four months.
The president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Derrick Johnson, has blasted the plan, saying it doesn’t go far enough.
According to Johnson, the policy will leave Black people behind. Black students hold a disproportionate amount of the student loan debt.
“Black Americans have been disproportionately devastated by student loan debt. Four years after graduating, they hold an average of almost $53,000 in debt, almost double the $28,000 average White Americans hold. And they typically end up owing 6% more than they initially borrowed, while White borrowers owe 10% less. Canceling just $10,000 of debt is like pouring a bucket of ice water on a forest fire. It hardly achieves anything — only making a mere dent in the problem,” Johnson and Wisdom Cole, National Director of the NAACP Youth & College Division, wrote in an opinion piece for CNN.
In a separate statement on Aug. 23, Johnson noted that the anticipated $10,000 in forgiveness for every borrower in addition to a payment pause extension is not enough, especially for Black people.
Johnson also expressed his thoughts on Twitter.
“If student debt repayments can be paused over and over and over again, there’s no reason why the President cannot cancel a minimum of $50,000,” he tweeted.
“I want the Black people who are congratulating Biden for 10k, possibly 20k, in debt forgiveness to know that they should feel entitled to better given the country — the richest nation in the world — was built on slavery. The first universities were built on slave labor,” tweeted Charles Preston of Injustice Watch.
Johnson said that if the Administration wanted to empower Black people, he would should push for other legislation.
“The senate’s failure to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act failed to save Black lives. President Biden’s decision on student debt cannot become the latest example of a policy that has left Black people – especially Black women – behind,” Johnson added in his statement.
“This is not how you treat Black voters who turned out in record numbers and provided 90 percent of their vote to once again save democracy in 2020,” he concluded.
Photo: NAACP President Derrick Johnson poses for a photo on Jan. 15, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)