BLM co-founder demands Joe Biden prioritize group’s anti-cop agenda after they ‘won him this election’

THE co-founder of Black Lives Matter has called on Joe Biden to prioritise the group's agenda and told him that "black people won this election".

The new administration is expected to face pressure from the group, whose demands include the defunding of police departments and greater investment in African-American communities.



The issue of race relations loomed large throughout the election campaign following the death of George Floyd in May and the nationwide protests that followed.

Both Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris, whose father was African-American, faced criticism over their governmental record on race during the campaign.

In a letter sent to the pair this week, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors 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," she said.

"A well-thought out, community-driven, fully resourced agenda that addresses the particular challenges faced by Black people must be a top priority."

Biden and Harris are set to take office in January after defeating incumbent President Trump in last week's election.

Cullors continued: "Without the resounding support of Black people, we would be saddled with a very different electoral outcome.

"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."

'I'LL HAVE YOUR BACK'

In his victory speech in Delaware on Saturday, Biden addressed African-Americans directly.

"I’m proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse coalition in history," he said.

"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 win comes as protests and unrest over police brutality continue to emerge sporadically in cities around the country.

Biden hasn't backed defunding police departments, instead proposing a series of reforms to the criminal justice system and the laws governing police conduct.

Among the proposed reforms is a nationwide ban on the use of chokeholds and a $20billion grant programme to help states target the causes of crime and incarceration.

During the Democratic primaries, Biden was criticised by opponents, including Harris, over his opposition in 1975 to efforts to introduce bussing programmes across the country.

The schemes saw children bussed to schools in different neighbourhoods to diversify the racial make-up of different schools and aid desegregation efforts.

Speaking in June, Biden said he never opposed the schemes themselves, but thought they should be organised at a local and state level, not mandated by the federal government.

Biden also faced questions over his support for the 1994 Crime Bill, which critics say led to greater mass incarceration, particularly of African-Americans.

Harris has similarly been criticised for her support, while attorney general of California, for measures intended to tackle crime that critics say disproportionately impacted minority communities.


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