BLM: “We Want Something For Our Vote!”

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors sent a letter to President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris  calling for the development of a “fully resourced” agenda that addresses the challenges Black people face. In the letter dated Nov. 7, Cullors called for a meeting with Biden and Harris to discuss the administration’s commitment to Black people, noting that, although Donald Trump’s demise is to be celebrated, it does not guarantee that conditions facing Black people will improve.

Her letter follows:

Dear President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris: 

Congratulations on your election to the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United states. Like so many, we are relieved that the Trump era in government is coming to a close. As we celebrate his 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. 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. 

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

President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris: 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. 

We look forward to meeting with you at your convenience to begin the immediate work of Black liberation. We would like to be actively engaged in your Transition Team’s planning and policy work. Again, congratulations on your win. Let’s get to work! 

Most Sincerely, Patrisse Cullers 

On behalf of the Black lives Matter Global Network

(image from challenger archives/challenger photo)