The embrace of the movement against racial injustice was a dramatic shift from the party’s last convention four years ago and did not go unnoticed by Black Lives Matter activists. But its leaders viewed the gestures as mostly lip service, without a real commitment to policy change: They want Biden to commit to defund the police and to crack down on misconduct by law enforcement.
“It’s been unfortunate to not see the Democratic Party fully align themselves with the powerful work this movement has been doing,” said Patrisse Cullors, who helped found the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013 after the killing of Trayvon Martin.
The disappointment underscores the persistent divide between Biden’s campaign and many Black Lives Matter activists, even as they present a united front to oust President Donald Trump. It also showcases the careful line that Democrats are attempting to walk: While the Black Lives Matter movement has gone mainstream, most Americans tell pollsters they don’t support withholding money for police.