A founding member of the Black Lives Matter Global Network recently accused Joe Biden of taking advantage of the movement and its ongoing drive to dismantle allegedly racially biased law enforcement agencies.
Dr. Melina Abdullah, lead organizer of BLM’s Los Angeles chapter, said Biden “capitalized on our efforts to defund the police, and then tried to condemn the words at the same time.”
She made the comments on Tuesday morning while protesting outside of the residence of Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti, the first of a series of demonstrations intended to spoil his chances for a cabinet position. Garcetti was a national co-chair of Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign and has been rumored to be in the running to oversee either the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Transportation Department.
Although many Black Lives Matter leaders publicly supported Biden’s candidacy, several still consider him a flawed statesman who is unwilling to push for meaningful reforms that they say would significantly improve black people’s lives. For instance, Mr. Biden has said he is “totally opposed to defunding the police officers,” concluding, “they need more assistance.”
— #BlackLivesMatter-LA (@BLMLA) October 23, 2020
“We want to be very clear that as we happily usher out the Trump regime, we will not accept liberal white supremacy in the White House in the form of Joe Biden,” Abdullah said, later adding: “It doesn’t matter to me that Kamala Harris is your vice president if you’re using her black woman body to usher in oppressive systems and oppressive people like Eric Garcetti.”
Abdullah said Biden would be “doubling down on liberal white supremacy” with a Garcetti appointment, accusing the mayor of criminalizing the city’s homeless population while claiming that he has been too supportive of an abusive LAPD.
BLM leaders believe law enforcement agencies exist to maintain a capitalist social order in America that has historically benefitted white people, which in turn is the root cause of police violence against people of color. Their plan involves gradually shifting public safety responsibilities and funding away from police departments, then reallocating that money to new services centered around meeting people’s universal needs, such as housing, healthcare, and access to nutritious food.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, BLM executive director Patrisse Cullors requested a meeting with Biden and Harris earlier this month to discuss the organization’s expectations and priorities.
“In short, Black people won this election,” Cullors wrote in a letter on behalf of the BLM Global Network. “We want something for our vote.”
“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,” she continued.
Cullors ended the letter by referencing Biden and Harris’ records, both of whom previously supported tough-on-crime policies that have been blamed for contributing to the mass incarceration of black people. During the campaign, Biden said he made a mistake by sponsoring a 1994 crime bill signed by President Bill Clinton that put more cops in black neighborhoods and incentivized states to build more prisons. Meanwhile, Harris vowed to correct allegedly inherently racist policies within the criminal justice system, despite serving 27 years as a prosecutor enforcing harsh sentencing laws. Cullors reportedly has not yet received a response.
Biden has spent his political career advocating a lock-them-up approach that feeds mass incarceration and overpolicing. @BernieSanders has been willing to get to the root of the issue…providing for people’s needs reduces crime. #ReimaginePublicSafety #NotMeUs https://t.co/fazql8NZ6k
— Melina Abdullah (@DocMellyMel) March 7, 2020
While police abolitionists nationwide view Biden as a better alternative to President Donald Trump, they generally seem to have low expectations for substantial progress toward their ultimate goal. One leading scholar compared Biden’s platform to “the kind of superficial and ineffective procedural reforms that the Obama administration proposed.” Still, they have vowed to keep the pressure on.
“We know that we had to protest Donald Trump, we had to get Donald Trump out,” Dr. Abdullah said. “We have to protest blatant white supremacy, but we have to remember that there’s a lot of liberal white supremacists.”
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