Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Pushes Back Democrats’ Criticism of “Police Funding”


Black Lives Matter co-founder and director of the Black Futures Lab, Alicia Garza, chided Democrats’ attacks on the will to “fund the police.” Their rejection of the slogan, she said, is an insult to the activists who helped secure Joe Biden’s victory.

person wearing sunglasses posing for camera: Democrats' rejection of the slogan, Alicia Garza said, is an insult to activists who helped secure Joe Biden's victory.

© Craig Barritt / Getty Images for Audible
Democrats’ rejection of the slogan, Alicia Garza said, is an insult to activists who helped secure Joe Biden’s victory.

His comments follow a is one of the House Democrats, who insists that the movement’s calls to “fund the police” helped curb the ballot losses that reduced the Democrats’ majority in the House of Representatives. In a Dec. 1 interview, former President Barack Obama criticized the slogan, calling it “alive”, arguing that it could alienate those who take the phrase at face value.


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“This movement, which has really helped to push [Biden’s] campaign on the finish line, has been used as political football throughout this electoral cycle and this was also true in 2016, ”Garza said in an interview for POLITICO’s Women Rule Capstone event. “There is a lot of precious airspace that was once condescending to the very people who opened the imagination to what this country can be – and how we can get closer to the promise this country has offered to so many. people.”

After a summer of protests against police violence and systemic racism, activists from the Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Movement for Black Lives have organized several nationwide campaigns to mobilize millions of black voters. Their efforts paid off in Georgia, which turned blue for the first time in 30 years, as well as the major Blue Wall states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, where historic black voter turnout contributed. to push Biden and Kamala Harris over.

Video: “We’re going to study this moment,” says BLM (MSNBC) co-founder

“We will study this moment,” says BLM co-founder

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Garza said she wants Congress and the Biden-Harris administration to change policies around police brutality and police accountability. She endorsed the BREATHE Act, a four-part legislative proposal drafted by activists at Black Lives Matter, which calls for law enforcement divestment and investment in communities of color.

She also highlighted the importance of diversity in the Biden / Harris administration. It is “more than unfortunate,” Garza said, that women, people of color, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community have been under-represented in political circles.

“It’s their experiences that help us define the best solutions,” Garza said. “It really is a missed opportunity for this administration not to see it that way. And this is a missed opportunity to really mark a concrete change from what we are getting out of with the Trump administration. “

Garza, who, as director of the Black Futures Lab, which investigates black political behavior, said Democrats could do a better job of engaging their base – an overwhelming majority of voters of color – by addressing the issues that are important to them. Black Lives Matter, she said, “doesn’t just change conversations, but laws as well.”

“Not enough of us are looking at how we legislate – how we make the rules, how we shape the rules, how we change the rules not only of politics but of our society and our culture,” Garza explained. “And how we do it in a way that’s not just symbolic but substance.”

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