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Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors responded to questions on the management of millions of dollars of funding as one might expect, she attacked her antagonizers as racists and sexists.
“It’s this idea that I’m sneaky or I’m doing something nefarious, and that’s incredibly anti-black and sexist,” Cullors said during an interview this week with Morehouse College. “We have to call it what it is.”
Last month, the Washington Examiner reported on a “shocking lack of transparency surrounding its finances and operations raises major legal and ethical red flags,” citing charity experts. The newspaper conducted an investigation of Black Lives Matter that found “the address it lists on tax forms is wrong, and the charity’s two board members won’t say who controls its $60 million bankroll.”
In addition to the $60 million charitable bankroll, BLM claims it has disbursed another $30 million to various organizations over the past two years. The group shut down its online fundraising pages last week amid legal threats from California and Washington, the Examiner reported.
“Like a giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew, and no clear direction,” said Laurie Styron, executive director of CharityWatch, which scrutinizes organizations registered as charities for financial malfeasance.
In May of 2021, Cullors stepped down as director of Black Lives Matter Global Network amid scrutiny over her personal finances, according to the Examiner. She appointed two activists to serve as senior directors following her resignation, but the activists, Makani Themba and Monifa Bandele, said that they never took the jobs due to disagreements with BLM — it’s not clear who currently leads the social justice organization.
Cullors’ resignation came after the New York Post reported that she had purchased four homes across the country for $3.4 million while leading the organization. She said during the interview with Morehouse that black journalists who have reported on the story were not “actually black” because they “spread those rumors.”
“What’s so effective about the right-wing media disinformation and misinformation strategy is that they deploy it inside the black community,” she said. “To see them post about me, and then the black media — I put in quotes, not all black media is actually black — spread those rumors … I was naïve to think black journalists and black media would be interested in talking to me first versus spreading misinformation and disinformation.”
Taking a page out of the Clinton playbook, Cullors claims it’s all part of a vast right-wing conspiracy against her.
“Black people really need to show up for the moment and understand what’s happening right now and how the right-wing media is taking any opportunity to undermine all the work that’s happened for the last decade,” she said. In saying “their job is to drive me to insanity,” Cullors claimed that not only is she under attack, but BLM as a whole.
“Their job is to keep me silent, to shrink me. Their job is to shrink us as a movement,” she said, while also declaring she has “never done anything illegal.”
“I’m being targeted because I’m part of a long legacy of civil rights workers and human rights leaders who have effectively fought and won the U.S. government, both at the local level, statewide, nationally,” she said.
As for disclosing that the group ended 2020 with $60 million in the bank, Cullors now regrets the move.
“It backfired because of anti-black racism,” she said. “We had a whole impact report where we showed where all the money went, and the question still is where did the money go. That’s deeply concerning to me because it means people don’t want to believe what’s actually true.”
Cullors explained that it was “very scary” to have responsibility for so much money while admitting that BLM hasn’t done a good enough job disclosing what it has done with the $60 million.
Somewhat comical, if not telling, she tried to fault white people for giving so much money.
“People have to know we didn’t go out and solicit the money,” Cullors said. “This is money that came from white guilt, white corporation guilt, and they just poured money in.”
In another recent report involving Black Lives Matter finances, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker funneled $300,000 to Black Lives Matter’s Lake County chapter sometime before Dec. 2021, via grants awarded from federal relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BLM Lake County and its founder, Clyde McLemore, are currently facing eviction from their office that reportedly sits across from the Lake County Courthouse.
“McLemore, 63, was arrested in Kenosha, Wisc. in Feb. 2021 and charged with felony battery to a police officer and disorderly conduct after he allegedly kicked a door at the Kenosha Courthouse and threatened to ‘break the fingers’ of a Kenosha police officer. A hearing is scheduled on the charges for Feb. 28,” the Lake County Gazette reported.
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