Despite the fact that Trump and his minions appear to be hellbent on attacking the legitimacy of the 2020 election results, it’s safe to say that Joe Biden will be America’s 46th president. We did it, good people; the orange menace will be vacating the Oval Office in 2021. But for Black people, Biden’s election leaves one simple question: What now?
Well, for artist, activist and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, the answer is just as simple as the question: Hold the new administration’s feet to the fire. On Saturday, Cullors sent the president-elect and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris a letter congratulating them on their win and requesting a meeting with them to “discuss the expectations that we have for your administration and the commitments that must be made to Black people.”
According to a copy of Cullors’ letter that was sent to The Root, the 36-year-old acknowledged that Trump’s “political exit does not ensure an end to the intolerable conditions faced by Black people in America” and that a “well-thought-out, community-driven, fully resourced agenda that addresses the particular challenges faced by Black people must be a top priority.”
One thing Cullors made clear in her letter is that Black people helped Biden and Harris win and, for that, we deserve our legislative flowers.
From Cullors’ letter:
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 anddamnable shame.
Cullors went on to address the fact that systemic racism has been “central” to the Biden-Harris campaign and that both Biden and Harris have “expressed regrets regarding your record on issues impacting Black people.” She said that the best way for both of them to prove they’re not completely full of shit is to “take your direction from Black grassroots organizers that have been engaged in this work for decades.”
Hopefully, Biden and Harris will take Cullors up on her offer and meet with her because, ultimately, she’s right—Black people don’t get nearly enough in return for consistently voting blue. We want results for our votes.