Photograph by Joshua Roberts / Reuters
Joe Biden has spoken clearly about the reality of systemic racism in America, and he’s said that racial justice would be a defining element of his Presidency. Such a statement would have been unlikely before the movement that followed the death of George Floyd, or before the overt white supremacy that was on display during the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, which Biden has said persuaded him to run in 2020.
Vanita Gupta will be one of the key people guiding the Administration’s response. She was confirmed in April as Associate Attorney General, the No. 3 position at the Department of Justice, overseeing the Civil Rights Division. David Remnick spoke with Gupta about how Biden intends to make good on his promises, and whether criminal-justice reform is still possible in bitterly divided Washington.