Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, has requested a meeting with President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris to discuss the “expectations” she has for their administration.
In a letter sent to the 2020 Democratic running mates after their win over the weekend, the anti-racism activist highlighted the electoral power that came with her movement’s backing.
“Without the resounding support of Black people, we would be saddled with a very different electoral outcome. In short, Black people won this election,” Cullors, 36, wrote, “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.
While highlighting the importance of the black community as a voting bloc, Cullors went on to explain why changes felt so urgently needed by those she represented.
“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,” she began before arguing that the US’ efforts toward improving circumstances 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.
The activist did not shy away from critiquing Biden and Harris’ individual records on issues of race, arguing instead that their time in the White House 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.
Over the course of the 2020 campaign season, the former vice president was brought to task over his positions on a myriad of issues, including his support of the 1994 crime bill, his opposition to federally-mandated busing and his praise for two US senators who identified as segregationists.
He was also widely condemned for saying during an interview with African American influencer Charlamagne tha God in late May, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black,” though he later apologized.
Harris, meanwhile, has faced criticism over her record as a federal prosecutor, with skeptics saying she skewed in favor of police and was too slow, and even sometimes mum, on criminal justice reform.
As California’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017, she refused to endorse a 2015 bill calling for a special prosecutor to investigate deadly police shootings, the Sacramento Bee reported back in August.
She also rejected calls from civil rights groups to investigate deadly police shootings in Los Angeles and San Francisco, following the 2014 police-involved killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Cullors closed the letter again requesting a meeting at Biden and Harris’ earliest convenience, but reiterating her desire to be included in the Biden transition team’s planning and policy work.
The activist is the protégé of Eric Mann, former agitator of the Weather Underground domestic terror organization, she explained in a 2018 interview with Democracy Now!
In a recently resurfaced 2015 video, 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.
A Biden transition team spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on if they had received the letter.
Source: The New York Post