Oakland, CA — Black Lives Matter today released a statement blasting President Joe Biden’s budget, which increased funding for policing to $30 billion. The budget follows increases in police funding across the country while police killings are on the rise in the United States.
Black Lives Matter released the following statement in response:
There is a saying that says a budget is a statement of priorities. If that is true, then Biden’s budget is showing Black people that he couldn’t care less about saving Black lives.
By investing billions in policing and failed, harmful strategies that only serve to cause irreparable harm to Black people, it fails to recognize their demands and it ignores the fact that police violence is on the rise in Black communities.
Two years ago, 26 million people left the safety of their homes in the midst of a pandemic to protest police violence and the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. Two years later, the Biden Administration has failed Black people universally, from voting rights to student loan forgiveness to now funding a budget for policing that is three times the size of funding included for criminal justice reform initiatives. This budget lacks any police accountability measures and invests in the same failed tactics that have only compounded deleterious conditions for Black people. Biden’s budget reflects a shortsightedness that will doom political prospects for Democrats and a callousness that will harm Black people for generations.
The reality is the Biden Administration is merely repeating a long pattern of resistance to growing Black political power. With every surge forward toward liberation, it sparks an equal and opposite reaction that clamps down harder and more efficiently on our ability to live full lives.
Black people across the country in 2020 were clear in our demand: defund the police to invest in our communities. We won’t let old, dangerous patterns prevail — we will continue our fight for freedom, human dignity, and liberation that transforms Black lives, and does not endanger them for the sake of political expediency.