Biden, Harris have yet to say whether they will grant requested BLM meeting
Cullors requested a meeting with the Biden/Harris team last week to discuss the movement’s agenda and lay out expectations for the forthcoming administration.
The Biden transition team could not be reached by Fox News for comment on whether they’d given any thought to accepting the meeting.
“Without the resounding support of Black people, we would be saddled with a very different electoral outcome,” Cullors wrote to Biden and Harris in a letter. “In short, Black people won this election.”
Cullors insisted that Black people “want to be heard and our agenda to be prioritized.”
Biden has promised to create a police oversight board to combat police brutality, which launched Black Lives Matter to the forefront of the national conversation this summer following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody in Minneapolis.
But “defund the police,” a rallying cry that’s been spearheaded by BLM, has been the source of Democratic infighting in recent days.
Biden has flip-flopped on the issue, but most recently said he doesn’t support diverting money from law enforcement. In July, activist Ady Barkan asked Biden, “Do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding?”
“Yes, absolutely” the former vice president responded.
But in September, Biden took a strong stance against defunding police officers when President Trump claimed he supported the move.
“I’m totally opposed to defunding the police officers,” Biden said. “They need more assistance.”
He added that he supports reintroducing “community policing.”
Biden, in addition to making history in choosing the first Black and South Asian woman to be vice president, laid out a plan for Black America over the summer. In it, he promises to address the country’s racial wealth gaps, “address environmental justice” and invest in racial health disparities, among other wide-reaching goals.
The plan promises to build up small-business opportunities for minority communities, reform “opportunity zones” and invest in affordable housing and home ownership. The plan would invest $30 billion, 10% of the $300 billion Biden has said he will invest in research and development to stimulate the economy, to a new small business opportunity fund.
Still, Cullors reminded Biden and Harris that they both have a controversial past with the Black community, particularly Biden’s key role in the 1992 crime bill and Harris’ tough-on-crime stance as a California prosecutor.
The co-founder noted that Biden and Harris both “expressed regrets regarding your record on issues impacting Black people,” and advised them 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 would like to be actively engaged in your Transition Team’s planning and policy work,” Cullors said. “Let’s get to work!”
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.