Nonprofit tax filings of the Black Lives Matter organization reveal much about an organization that purports to liberate Blacks in America (BLM).
BLM was good at manipulating well-intentioned donors and fundraising off tragic stories of Blacks slain by police. But if an organization’s expenses signal what they prioritize, then BLM’s leadership and inner circle are really the Black lives that matter.
Move over Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. BLM’s co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, is the new face of America’s race hustlers.
Peddling racism is lucrative. BLM received $90 million from mid-2020 to mid-2021 with the average donation being $30.64.
Cullors pejoratively called the cash that flooded the organization following the death of George Floyd, “a lot of white guilt money.”
According to the IRS 990 form filed by the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), they made eyebrow-raising purchases and expenses.
The organization bought a swanky $6 million Los Angeles-area compound, where Cullors hosted a birthday party for her son and an inauguration party, and another $6 million property in Canada.
BLMGNF also paid the father of Cullors’ child nearly a million dollars for “creative services,” her brother $840,000 for security, and the only other board member $2.1 million.
Cullors stuck the nonprofit with a bill for a private plane flight; she later partially reimbursed the foundation for that one.
Allegations of mismanagement of funds have prompted investigations by two states and a halt soliciting or donating funds. Conflicts of interests aside, the organization gave relatively little to actually help the victims’ families of police brutality — a cause they claim to champion.
The foundation gave the Trayvon Martin Foundation, established by the slain teen’s parents, the Oscar Grant Foundation, established for the 22-year-old Oakland California killed by police, and the George Floyd Memorial Foundation $200,000, respectively. Cullor paid her “baby daddy” more than she gave to all three foundations combined.
The Michael O.D. Brown We Love Our Children Foundation fared best, receiving $1.4 million, but other causes in the names of well-known slain Blacks didn’t receive a penny. Most of the other grant recipients outside of BLM chapters advanced LGBTQ issues.
Families of slain Blacks, former BLM organizers, and even loosely-affiliated groups have been speaking out about the BLM and Cullors for some time.
Has anyone been paying attention?
Samira Rice, the mother of the teen Tamir Rice, called Cullors’ resignation from the organization a “facade” to dodge the heat. Rice explained that she sought help from Cullors to re-open a federal investigation into her son’s death.
A few emails was all she received, never even a face-to-face meeting.
“They are benefiting off the blood of our loved ones, and they won’t even talk to us.”
Rice and other parents like Lisa Simpson, whose son was killed by LAPD, aren’t waiting for BLM to open its coffers but stepping up to help other families through their grief. Their message to Cullors and those like her is chilling: “We don’t want or need y’all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken.”
Perhaps Cullors was too busy trying to demand face-time with the incoming president and vice president. In a well-publicized letter to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, she wrote, “Black Lives Matter invested heavily in this election. . . We want something for our vote. We want to be heard and our agenda to be prioritized.”
The truth about BLM is that it has no interest in healing, fixing, or uplifting Black families. That was the conclusion Ashad Turner, who founded the local BLM chapter in St. Paul in 2015, came to when he quit the organization because the movement vehemently opposed school choice.
What should be clear is that when tragic situations occur and emotions run high, profiteers — aided by politicians and biased media — will exploit the situation for their gain.
Many donors who gave to BLM likely feel swindled.
They trusted the leaders and organization to advance race relations. Instead their generosity has been exploited by someone who touts Marxist ideology and spouts America-hating, Black liberation rhetoric.
The good news is that the Black nonprofit ecosystem also includes leaders who aren’t just hustling Americans but truly making a measurable impact: Slyvia Bennett-Stone joins other mothers of young people slain by senseless street violence in coming to the aid of other grieving parents with love and financial support.
Education reformers like Denisha Merriweather are fighting to ensure that every (Black) kid has educational freedom through school choice.
Bob Woodson, Sr., channels resources to hundreds of local grassroots organizations around the country that keep kids off the streets, strengthen marriages, and teach life skills for success.
Thought leaders, researchers, and practitioners pursuing solutions to intractable problems plaguing some of our toughest neighborhoods may never get a dime from the pot of gold that BLM sits upon.
They may never hobnob with Black elites or negotiate multimillion-dollar deals with streaming services.
But they are working to move the needle one family, one scholar, and one mind at a time.
Can the same be said of BLM?