‘We want something for our vote’: BLM co-founder already making demands of Biden
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has requested a meeting with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in order to present demands concerning the movement’s agenda and lay out expectations for the incoming administration. She feels that the incoming administration owes BLM for their support and votes.
“Without the resounding support of Black people, we would be saddled with a very different electoral outcome,” Cullors wrote in a letter to Biden and Harris on Saturday. “In short, Black people won this election.”
“Alongside Black-led organizations around the nation, Black Lives Matter invested heavily in this election. ‘Vote and Organize’ became our motto, and our electoral justice efforts reached more than 60 million voters.”
“We want something for our vote. We are requesting a meeting with you both to discuss the expectations that we have for your administration and the commitments that must be made to Black people,” she continued.
Cullors is being very blunt and pulled no punches. She plans to hold Joe Biden accountable and says that Black people “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,” she put forth before arguing that efforts toward improving circumstances for the Black community had been insufficient.
“Up until this point, the United States has refused to directly reckon with the way that it devalues Black people and devastates our lives. This cannot continue. Black people can neither afford to live through the vitriol of a Trump-like Presidency, nor through the indifference of a Democrat-controlled government that refuses to wrestle with its most egregious and damnable shame,” Cullors wrote.
Cullors did not hesitate to criticize Biden and Harris’ individual records on issues of race, stating instead that their administration could be an opening to correct past errors.
“Both of you discussed addressing systemic racism as central to your election campaigns. Both of you also expressed regrets regarding your record on issues impacting Black people. The best way to ensure that you remedy past missteps and work towards a more just future for Black people — and by extension all people — is to take your direction from Black grassroots organizers that have been engaged in this work for decades, with a legacy that spans back to the first arrival of enslaved Africans,” the BLM leader said.
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) November 8, 2020
Among the demands made by Cullors is a police oversight board to combat police brutality, specifically against Black and minority people. It remains to be seen if Biden will make good on that campaign promise in his first 100 days as president.
Black Lives Matter has pushed hard on police reform, especially after the death of George Floyd in May. Floyd’s death was controversial and appeared to be the result of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes.
The incident resulted in riots and widespread violence across the nation with protesters and politicians calling to “defund the police.” Biden has yet to solidly support the movement, which is angering his progressive base.
The presumptive president-elect has also promised to create an economic plan that will provide housing, education, and financial support to Black and Latino communities who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden recognized his Black supporters during his victory speech last week and thanked them for their votes.
“The African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours,” Biden said at the Chase Center in Wilmington, DE. “I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like.”
“We would like to be actively engaged in your Transition Team’s planning and policy work,” Cullors said. “Let’s get to work!”
According to the New York Post, Cullors is the protégé of Eric Mann, a former agitator of the Weather Underground domestic terror organization. She revealed this in a 2018 interview with Democracy Now! Cullors describes herself as “a trained Marxist.”
“The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers,” she said, referring to BLM co-founder Alicia Garza.
“We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk,” Cullors added in the interview with Jared Ball of The Real News Network.