//Black Lives Matter Excluded From Joe Biden’s Virtual Conclave With Civil Rights Groups

Black Lives Matter Excluded From Joe Biden’s Virtual Conclave With Civil Rights Groups

The Black Lives Matter Global Network (BLMGN) Foundation called out Joe Biden and Kamala Harris last week for excluding the group from a virtual conclave with civil rights leaders, thereby ignoring “millions of people who brought the Biden Harris victory home.”

The organization expressed its displeasure on social media last Wednesday after the Democratic presidential ticket reportedly met with the heads of seven nonprofits focused on racial justice, including Rev. Al Sharpton, an on-air personality featured on MSNBC who is also president and founder of the National Action Network.

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), an incoming senior adviser to Biden, also took part in the meeting.

“(Black Lives Matter) – as the largest social and justice movement in history – was not invited,” the official BLM account posted on Twitter.

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Rep. Cedric Richmond met with several civil rights groups yesterday.@blklivesmatter—as the largest social and justice movement in history—was not invited. https://t.co/RYdoXmvSpw via @politico

— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) December 9, 2020

As Politico recently reported:

Civil rights leaders said the wide-ranging discussion was set for an hour but lasted about an hour and 45 minutes, with topics including the racial wealth gap, the diversity of Biden’s Cabinet and sub-Cabinet appointments, avoiding double standards with Black appointees, restoring the Justice Department and other agencies, police and criminal justice reform, voting rights, judges and more.

The conversation was centered on racial justice and equity – racial equity is among the four pillars Biden laid out as top priorities on his transition website. Race was also a key issue in the presidential election, as Americans all over the country took to the streets to protest racial injustice amid a pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black and brown communities. Plus, Black voters not only saved Biden’s presidential primary campaign but also helped elevate him to the White House in November.

BLM co-founder and executive director Patrisse Cullors penned a letter to Biden and Harris last month requesting a meeting to discuss the organization’s expectations and priorities.

She said BLM members were “relieved that the Trump era in government is coming to a close,” adding, “As we celebrate his electoral demise, we also know that his political exit does not ensure an end to the intolerable conditions faced by Black people in America.”

“We want something for our vote,” Cullors wrote. “We want to be heard and our agenda to be prioritized.”

However, as BLM wrote in a series of tweets Wednesday, “it has now been 32 days and we have yet to receive a response.”

We deserve a seat at the table. The 63,747 people who signed our petition want us there too.

Sign our petition below.https://t.co/D07evOc6Ei

— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) December 9, 2020

“To set up a meeting with civil rights leaders, without BLM, is unacceptable,” the post continued. “We deserve a seat at the table.”

Several local BLM chapters that were once affiliated with the BLM Global Network recently revolted against the central organizational entity, explaining that the frontline activist groups “have consistently raised concerns about financial transparency, decision making, and accountability.” They claim Cullors is “the sole board member of BLMGN” and was appointed the Executive Director “against the will of most chapters and without their knowledge.” At least ten BLM groups stepped away from the BLMGN, including prominent chapters like Black Lives Matter Chicago and Black Lives Matter D.C.

According to the Associated Press, “the BLM network banked millions of dollars from a surge of donations” that followed nationwide protests against alleged racially biased policing earlier this year. Cullors established a fund of more than $12 million, the outlet reported.

Related: Local BLM Chapters Accuse National Foundation Of Hiding ‘Untold Millions Of Dollars’ In Donations From Grassroots Activists

Related: Black Lives Matter Pens Letter To Joe Biden And Kamala Harris: ‘We Want Something For Our Vote’

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