An investigative report recently published by New York Magazine uncovered questionable use of Black Lives Matter donations. The report revealed that BLM used donations to purchase a lavish $6 million house in California.
The Black activist group said in 2021 that it had pulled in $90 million in donations in 2020, a year of worldwide protests against racism and police brutality after the murder of George Floyd.
The article reported that BLM said the purchase of the home was not for residential use but to be used as a space for Black creatives.
Former BLM leader Patrisse Cullors, who resigned in May 2021 amid accusations of misuse of BLM finances, repeatedly denied accusations that BLM donations were used to purchase real estate. Still, New York Magazine investigative journalist Sean Campbell has reported that BLM did indeed buy a $6 million house in California.
Now Cullors has taken to Instagram to refute accusations that the property was purchased as a home. And she claims the magazine’s reporter, Campbell, has a vendetta against her and BLM.
Cullors wrote that the “article in New York Magazine is a despicable abuse of a platform that’s intended to provide truthful information to the public. Journalism is supposed to mitigate harm and inform our communities. That fact that a reputable publication would allow a reporter, with a proven and very public bias against me and other Black leaders, to write a piece filled with misinformation, innuendo, and incendiary opinions, is disheartening and unacceptable.”
Cullors then explained the costly real estate purchase, emphasizing there was nothing nefarious about it.
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“To clarify again, the property the reporter addressed was purchased in 2020 as a space where those within the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) and broader movement community could work, create content, host meetings and foster creativity. Although I cannot speak to how BLMGNF uses the property currently as I left the organization last year in May, it was purchased to be a safe space for Black people in the community. The reason it wasn’t announced prior is not nefarious as the headline infers, the property needed repairs and renovation. I do not own the property, have never lived there and made that clear to the reporter. I want to be clear: While I will always see myself as a part of the BLM community, I am no longer in leadership and I am not a part of any decision-making processes within the foundation.”
Cullors went on to stress she has not done anything illegal in regards to BLM donations.
She continued, “I have never misappropriated funds, and it pains me that so many people have accepted that narrative without the presence of tangible truth or facts. Nevertheless, this will soon be made clear upon the release of the BLM 990s. To those within our movement and others who have looked to me for leadership, I’m sorry you have consistently had to engage with this kind of hateful and erroneous content. I admittedly have not always responded and I know my silence has contributed to doubt. I apologize if it has caused you harm of any kind. But I’m asking you all to understand the enormous pressure and fear that comes with living under the constant threat of white supremacist terror and real threats on my life and those of people I love. But I’m no longer letting fear hold me back from calling out these attacks.”
Photo: Patrisse Cullors poses for a portrait to promote the film “Bedlam” at the Salesforce Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 27, 2019, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)m/news/bs-xpm-1998-09-06-1998249081-story.html