After a summer of racial tension, protests, and riots, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris emerged as president-elect and vice president-elect.
A wave of renewed motivation in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery is credited for carrying the Biden campaign to the finish line.
According to exit polls, black voters played a huge role in Biden’s win. Black voter turnout proved to be crucial in cities like Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Despite turning off some middle-class suburban voters, the widespread Black Lives Matter protests may have tipped the scales towards Biden.
Both Biden and Harris committed their support to the Black Lives Matter cause on multiple occasions.
“Between Joe Biden and Donald Trump: Joe Biden says ‘Black lives matter’; Donald Trump refuses to say it,” Harris told singer Miley Cyrus.
“Black lives matter. No president should be afraid to say it.” Biden said in a video posted to his official Twitter account.
Black lives matter. No president should be afraid to say it. pic.twitter.com/636AQZ04lW
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 27, 2020
After riding the coattails of the wave of Black Lives Matter protests and riots to victory, Biden and Harris seem to have abandoned their commitment. On December 9, Black Lives Matter published an Instagram post revealing that it has been 32 days since they requested a meeting with the pair and they have yet to receive a response.
On the campaign trail, Biden said: “I won’t fan the flames of hate. I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country — not use them for political gain.”
It’s certain that the President-elect’s campaign benefitted from Black Lives Matters’ protests, riots, and activism. He certainly claims to not use their movement for political gain, but he is not proving this in his actions.
The administration’s reluctance to respond to or meet with Black Lives Matter could be indicative that their commitment was just a ploy to win progressive votes.