BLM co-founder wants meeting with Joe Biden and anti-cop agenda prioritized after they 'won him this election'
Patrisse Cullors' statement comes as the Biden administration is expected to face pressure from the group, which has demanded defunding of police departments and greater investment in African-American communities
Black Lives Matter co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, has called on President-elect Joe Biden to prioritize the group's agenda, and told him that "Black people won this election." Cullors' statement comes as the Biden administration is expected to face pressure from the group, which has demanded defunding of police departments and greater investment in African-American communities.
Race tensions were high throughout the election campaign this year following George Floyd's killing in police custody in May and the nationwide protests that ensued after. The Biden-Harris campaign also faced criticism over their governmental record on race relations this year. Cullors, in a letter sent to Biden and Harris this week, requested a meeting to discuss the "expectations that we have for your administration and the commitments that must be made to Black people. As we celebrate [Donald Trump's] electoral demise, we also know that his political exit does not ensure an end to the intolerable conditions faced by Black people in America."
"A well-thought out, community-driven, fully resourced agenda that addresses the particular challenges faced by Black people must be a top priority," she added in the letter. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are scheduled to take office in January after they defeated President Donald Trump in the elections last week.
"Without the resounding support of Black people, we would be saddled with a very different electoral outcome," Cullors continued. "In short, Black people won this election. We want something for our vote. We want to be heard and our agenda to be prioritized. We issue these expectations not just because Black people are the most consistent and reliable voters for Democrats, but also because Black people are truly living in crisis in a nation that was built on our subjugation."
Biden, in his victory speech in Delaware last Saturday, November 7, had directly addressed the Black community in the country, saying: "I’m proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse coalition in history. Especially those moments when this campaign was at its lowest ebb, the African American community stood up again for me. You’ve always had my back, and I’ll have yours." The Democrat's win came amidst widespread protests and unrest in the country over police brutality and systematic racism. Biden, however, has not supported defunding police departments and has instead proposed a series of reforms to the criminal justice system. The President-elect's proposed reforms include a nationwide ban on the use of chokeholds and a $20 billion grant program to assist states to target the causes of crime and incarceration.
Biden, during the Democratic primaries, was denounced by his party opponents, including his vice president running mate Harris, over his opposition in 1975 to efforts to introduce bussing programs across the country. Bussing schemes saw children sent to schools in different neighborhoods in an effort to diversify the racial make-up of different schools and aid desegregation efforts. The Democrat leader, however, defended himself in June, saying that he never opposed the schemes, but thought that they should be organized at a local and state level, and should not be mandated by the federal government.