Black Lives Matter’s Alicia Garza: Joe Biden Shouldn’t Focus on ‘Mythical White Working-Class Voter in the Midwest’

LANCASTER, PA - JUNE 25: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during an event about affordable healthcare at the Lancaster Recreation Center on June 25, 2020 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Biden met with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and made remarks on his plan …
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The co-founder of the radical Marxist Black Lives Matter movement said Joe Biden is “pretty far” from where her organization wants him to be, but is hopeful their leaders can “push him to be a better candidate.”

Garza told TIME100 Talks one of her primary goals as the principal of Black Future Labs is to ensure Black Lives Matter is embedded into politics at every level, “from City Hall all the way up to Congress,” and that black people “are not just at the table, but that we set the table.”

“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,” she said. “We need to push him to be a better candidate if he’s going to be the presumptive nominee.”

Regarding the election in November, Garza said there are local opportunities to make big changes.

“Policing is very much on the ballot,” she explained, and noted that “when you go to vote for your mayor, you are also voting for who the chief of police is going to be in your community.”

The question about elections, said Garza, is “how do we use elections as a pivot point, as a pressure point, and as a way to continue to reshape the culture in which we are developing new rules and transforming systems.”

Breitbart News reported in June that, in a 2015 interview with the Real News Network, Patrisse Cullors, Garza’s fellow co-founder of Black Lives Matter, stated their movement has “an ideological frame.”

“Myself and Alicia [Garza] in particular are trained organizers,” Cullors said. “We are trained Marxists.”

Garza told TIME how important it is for Biden to complete his continuing lurch to the left:

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.

In a discussion about why she is supporting Biden in the 2020 presidential election, radical Marxist and former Black Panther Angela Davis agreed Monday that while Biden is by no means an ideal candidate for the radical left, he is, however, the “candidate who can be most effectively pressured.”

Davis, a former Communist Party USA vice presidential candidate, told Russia Today:

I don’t see this election as being about choosing a candidate who will be — who will be able to lead us in the right direction. It will be about choosing a candidate who can be most effectively pressured into allowing more space for the evolving anti-racist movement.

Biden is very problematic in many ways, not only in terms of his past and the role that he played, and pushing toward mass incarceration … but – I say but – Biden is far more likely to take mass demands seriously – far more likely than the current occupant of the White House.

Garza said Black Lives Matter now has the attention of the nation and can make an impact in the November elections.

“This movement is going to continue to organize people politically, to organize people practically, and to make sure that our voices are heard at the ballot box,” she said. “But candidates like Joe Biden who refuse to meet the moment miss an opportunity to be on the right side of history.”

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