Biden stresses unity in inauguration speech, Texas lawmakers react

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President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in Wednesday, officially marking the close of the Trump presidency.

In his inauguration speech, Biden stressed the importance of unity in fighting extremism, joblessness, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days,” Biden said in his speech. “I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never assured.”

“With purpose and resolve we turn to those tasks of our time sustained by faith, driven by conviction, and both to one another and the country we love with all of our hearts,” Biden concluded. “May God bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America”

Texas lawmakers, many of which attended the inauguration, offered their thoughts and reactions.

“Democracy has prevailed,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) tweeted at noon, the hour Biden officially became president after being sworn in. 

“Trump’s dark presidency is finally confined to history,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin). 

In a press email sent out at noon, Rep. Al Green celebrated the historic swearing-in of Kamala Harris as the first woman of color as the vice president said Biden’s inauguration represented the end of a shameful presidency that brought harm to America.

“We cannot return to a status quo ante, wherein marginalized communities quietly suffer the injustices of institutionalized, invidious discrimination,” Green said. “We cannot simply bury the past. We must nationalize a ‘build back better’ response to defeat hate.”

The Texas Democratic Party also shared a statement from Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa who said “democracy rang loud” in the inauguration. 

“It’s time to get to work,” Hinojosa said. “There are challenges facing both Texas and the United States, challenges that we can only get through together. President Biden and Vice President Harris will immediately start undoing the incredibly cruel policies of the previous Administration.”

Texas Democratic Party Vice Chair Dr. Carla Brailey also offered her thoughts about the inauguration, which she called the first step toward healing and unifying the nation.

“As a woman of color, the historic victory of having our first female Vice President-elect, as well as our first black Vice President-elect, brings tears of joy as we have fought centuries for this moment,” Brailey said. “A historic coalition of voters, led by Black women, have saved our democracy by going to the polls and fighting back against Republican voter suppression in spite of a global pandemic, toxic misinformation, and horrifying scare tactics.”

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