As we’ve reported here at RedState, Black Lives Matter used $6 million in donations to secretly purchase a mansion in Southern California, according to a recent New York Magazine expose. The magazine reports that the house boasts more than 6,500 square feet, at least half a dozen bedrooms and bathrooms, several fireplaces, a soundstage, a pool and bungalow, plus parking for more than 20 cars. Nice!
This after former BLM leader Patrisse Khan-Cullors took heavy criticism in 2021 for the purchase of four homes worth an estimated $3.4 million, including a $1.4 million house in the exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood of Topanga Canyon.
I think it’s fair to guess that most people donating to Black Lives Matter would not have imagined their money would end up in pricey California real estate.
Cullors, co-founder of BLM and a self-professed “trained Marxist,” stepped down from her leadership role not long after the first real estate purchases were reported. However, she denied that the controversy was the reason, explaining. “Those were right-wing attacks that tried to discredit my character, and I don’t operate off of what the right thinks about me.”
The issue faded from the news somewhat after her resignation, but this new $6 million revelation has thrust the controversy right back into the limelight. Daily Mail reports on some interesting financial moves regarding the purchase:
Dyane Pascall, president of the Councious Captial Investment Enterprise real estate company and a former employ of Cullors, bought the LA property from televangelists Shawn and Cherie Bolz, according to property records, and Shawn Bolz told The New York Post the sale was for $3.1 million.
Yet six days after it was purchased, on October 27, 2020, Pascall transferred the property to Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundations (BLMGNF) for $5.8 million – with BLMGNF paying Pascall in cash, and the purchase registered to a shell company registered several days before.
Nothing to see here, folks.
Criticism has been swift. Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California says it’s time for the Department of Justice to open an investigation:
So many red flags raised by the $6 million purchase of an L.A. mansion by the charity of Black Lives Matter.
BLM hasn’t come close to explaining this. And the Biden DOJ can’t ignore it any longer.
— Rep. Darrell Issa (@repdarrellissa) April 9, 2022
The criticism hasn’t all come from the right, either. Last year after news broke about Cullors’ purchase of the original four properties, Hawk Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, wasn’t happy. (Black Lives Matter of Greater New York is not affiliated with the national Black Lives Matter group.) From Yahoo! News:
“If you go around calling yourself a socialist, you have to ask how much of her own personal money is going to charitable causes,” he told the Post. “It’s really sad because it makes people doubt the validity of the movement and overlook the fact that it’s the people that carry this movement,” he continued.
Black Lives Matter responded to the criticisms with a series of tweets. Here’s one explaining that it’s the “narrative” that’s the problem, not the lavish purchases.
We know narratives like this cause harm to organizers doing brilliant work across the country and these reports do not reflect the totality of the movement. We apologize for the distress this has caused to our supporters and those who work in service of Black liberation daily.
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) April 11, 2022
Interestingly, they turned off all comments on the thread. Although the words “we apologize” appear in the above tweet, this and the accompanying tweets in the thread certainly don’t read like apologies. They read like the all-too-common, “I blame the media!” for my issues. That almost never goes well. With reports that some $60 million in donations may be unaccounted for, BLM cannot wish this one away.
This story isn’t going anywhere.