In an interview with Time Magazine earlier this week, Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, accused the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden of failing to be in sync with the movement’s proposals.
“Frankly, I think [the Biden campaign is] well aware that they are pretty far from the concerns that this movement has put forward—and that is not acceptable. We need to push him to be a better candidate if he’s going to be the presumptive nominee”, Garza underlined.
She added that even though Biden has called for some moves that meet the movement’s concerns, the former US vice president’s campaign needs a “full orientation shift” in order to attract more voters ahead of the 3 November election.
“I think what we have right now is an opportunity not just to play it safe, but also not to think that just appealing to a mythical white working-class voter in the Midwest is the primary concern for any campaign when they see that Black Lives Matter is in the top issues that Democratic voters care about in this country”, the activist pointed out.
She remained cautiously optimistic about whether Biden will finally decide to “step up” and embark on a more decisive policy pertaining to Black Lives Matter as the movement plans to continue organising people “politically and practically” so as to make sure that its voices “are heard at the ballot box”.
“But candidates like Joe Biden who refuse to meet the moment miss an opportunity to be on the right side of history”, she emphasised.
The presumptive Democratic nominee also pledged that he “will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country — not use them for political gain”.
The promise was made amid protests against racial discrimination and police brutality in both the US and beyond that were sparked by the death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis in May.
Despite the fact that Biden supported some of Black Lives Matters’ ideas in light if the George Floyd protests, not least a ban on chokeholds and the need for community policing, he continues to reject some of the movement’s key proposals, such as defunding the police.