Masses of people are gathering in the streets of the United States calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism towards African Americans. These tensions are heating in an already strained domestic climate with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn ahead of the presidential election in November.

Speaking to Doug Krizner and Paul Allen on Bloomberg Daybreak Asia, Research Associate Elliott Brennan says it is pertinent to remember the Black Lives Matter protests came up during the Obama administration, something which carries a lot of risk for Joe Biden and his campaign.

“A lot of people are assuming that this activation on the streets of young black Americans is automatically going to translate into Democratic votes,” Mr Brennan says.

“What we’re seeing play out across the US is people that are fed up with the system and feel that it’s completely geared against them; that doesn’t translate into lining up behind a mainstream Democratic party and voting.”

Mr Brennan warns the unfolding situation offers a “very thin needle for the Biden campaign to thread” as it tries to convince voters that Biden’s promises will translate into action if he's elected.

“Time and time again in US politics old promises have been made for healing and they haven’t come through.”

Mr Brennan points the top-down approach taken in the aftermath of the LA riots which left many African Americans in low paying jobs or out of work.

“It entrenched problems that are coming back to the fore now and have come back to the fore several times since the turn of the century.”