New Brunswick, N.J. (Nov. 1, 2020) – Donna Murch, a Rutgers University professor of history, is available to comment on how the presidential election may affect the racial and social justice movement. 

“If Trump is re-elected, we should expect a continued repression of protests in which those arrested face enormous criminal charges, along with the tools of mass incarceration and asset forfeiture, all fueled by the politics of fear. Under a Biden presidency, although he was central to the Clinton administration’s anti-crime policy and is against defunding police, Biden knows that Black voters are central to his base. I would expect concessions such as federal support for body cams and oversight of police policies,” Murch said. 

“Although we think of mass mobilization as happening in response to repressive governments, it is under Democratic presidents that we often mass social mobilization, as happened under Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy, and with the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement under Barack Obama. If Biden is elected, I would expect a lot more activism, possibly more than under the Trump administration.”

Murch discusses the topic further in “What Happens Next Election Edition: The Black Lives Matter Movement,” part of a series of interviews with Rutgers faculty on how the election will affect matters of national interest. 

Murch’s areas of expertise include mass incarceration and the war on drugs, and the history of Black power, civil rights and social movements in California. Her work is featured in the documentaries MLK/FBI and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. 




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