Meme Spreads Misinformation on Presidential Endorsements
By Saranac Hale Spencer
Posted on October 14, 2020
A widely shared meme misrepresents Joe Biden’s endorsements. Biden hasn’t been endorsed by antifa or the Black Lives Matter organization, though BLM co-founders support him. And while President Donald Trump has been endorsed by the major law enforcement groups, Biden has received the backing of some law enforcement officials.
Misleading claims about presidential endorsements are circulating in a meme on social media, amplifying law-and-order messages about President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden that have been spread on the same conservative pages sharing the meme.
The meme says: “Biden endorsed by BLM and Antifa, TRUMP endorsed by NRA and Law Enforcement. Choose your President.”
Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has not been endorsed by antifa.
Antifa is not a formal organization that would make an endorsement in a presidential election. Rather, it is a movement against fascism.
The Black Lives Matter organization has made no public endorsements in the presidential race as of Oct. 13. However, two of the three founders of Black Lives Matter have expressed support for the Democratic presidential ticket.
Patrisse Cullors recorded a video for the Washington Post on the final day of the Democratic National Convention in which she praised the selection of Kamala Harris — the first Black woman to be on a major party’s presidential ticket — for vice president as “historic.” Cullors also said that parts of Harris’ record as a prosecutor and Biden’s record on crime bills in the 1990s were problematic. But, she said, “I think we can call for Biden and Harris to be challenged for their past, while also being the cheerleaders for them to win the election Nov. 3.”
Alicia Garza posted on Twitter the following day: “I’m voting Biden/Harris. I’m voting down the ticket. I’m registering and moving others to vote. And I’m going to keep pushing them. It is important to see BLM after all this time. 7 YEARS. Symbols are nice. Policy and practice is essential. Let’s go—we got work to do. #DNC2020.”
Opal Tometi, the third co-founder of Black Lives Matter, hasn’t made any public statements we could find about Biden’s candidacy. But she told The Guardian in September, “Come tomorrow, we have 45 days to vote 45 out, and I believe it’s one of those efforts that’s all hands on deck.” Trump is the 45th president.
As for the claims about Trump’s endorsements, the president is backed by the National Rifle Association and he has gotten the support of the nation’s major law enforcement organizations. But Biden has gotten endorsements from some law enforcement officials, too.
The NRA announced its endorsement on July 20, but that wasn’t a surprise. The NRA endorsed Trump in 2016, as it has done for every Republican presidential candidate since 2004. (It didn’t publicly endorse George W. Bush in 2000 in order to help him with moderates in swing states, according to press reports at the time.)
Trump has received the backing of major law enforcement organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police, an advocacy group that reports having more than 355,000 members. Like the NRA, the FOP has a history of backing Republican candidates. He also received the support of the National Association of Police Organizations, a lobbying group that says it represents 241,000 officers. NAPO backed former President Barack Obama in 2012. The International Union of Police Associations, a union that represented about 23,000 members as of 2018, has endorsed Trump, too.
But Biden has received the backing of the National Association of Government Employees, which includes the 15,000-member International Brotherhood of Police Officers. He’s also gotten the endorsement of more than 175 current and former law enforcement officials.
So, the claim that Biden was endorsed by “BLM and Antifa” is false, although some of the Black Lives Matter founders have offered support for him separately from the organization. And Trump has gotten the endorsement of the NRA and the major law enforcement organizations, but some law enforcement officials have endorsed Biden.
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Cullors, Patrisse. Washington Post. “Patrisse Cullors: We can cheer Biden and Harris — but still must challenge their problematic past.” YouTube. 20 Aug 2020.
Garza, Alicia (@aliciagarza). “I’m voting Biden/Harris. I’m voting down the ticket. I’m registering and moving others to vote. And I’m going to keep pushing them. It is important to see BLM after all this time. 7 YEARS. Symbols are nice. Policy and practice is essential. Let’s go—we got work to do. #DNC2020.” Twitter. 21 Aug 2020.
Jones, Ellen E. “Opal Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matter: ‘I do this because we deserve to live.’” The Guardian. 24 Sep 2020.
National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. Press release. “NRA-PVF Endorses President Donald Trump for Reelection.” 20 Jul 2020.
CBS News. “Bush To Skip Conservative Gathering.” CBS. 27 Sep 2000.
National Fraternal Order of Police. “Fraternal Order of Police Endorses Trump for President.” 4 Sep 2020.
National Association of Police Organizations (@NAPOpolice). “NAPO has endorsed President Trump in his reelection campaign. Here is our endorsement letter which was issued following today’s meeting.” Twitter. 15 Jul 2020.
International Union of Police Associations. Press release. “The International Union of Police Associations Formally Endorses the Campaign for the Re-election of President Donald J. Trump.” Accessed 13 Oct 2020.
International Brotherhood of Police Officers. Press release. “NAGE Endorses Democratic Nominee for President.” 9 Dec 2019.
Singman, Brooke. “More than 175 current, former law enforcement officials endorse Joe Biden, slam Trump as ‘lawless’ president.” Fox News. 4 Sep 2020.