Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter and the executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has resigned that position with the foundation.
This follows controversy over her real estate holdings, criticism over spending of her jail reform group at a Malibu beach resort, as well as questions about where the Global Network Foundation money was going from critics and other BLM activists.
Cullors says she’s quitting to concentrate on her book and television deal. As we previously reported, the notoriety also raised her profile, so she was able to set up a consulting firm with her non-binary spouse, basically consulting on social justice. She did pretty well out of all this, for a trained Marxist. Money for multiple houses, enough to be able to look at a resort home in the Bahamas. Time to cut and run, now that the controversy and the questions are hitting?
“I’ve created the infrastructure and the support, and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave,” Cullors proclaimed. “It feels like the time is right.” Cullors claimed that she wasn’t quitting because of the controversy, which she termed “right wing attacks” trying to “discredit her character.”
But it isn’t only the right wing who has called out Cullors and asked where the money is going.
“That is the most tragic aspect,” said the Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, president of an Oklahoma City BLM chapter and a representative of the #BLM10, a national group of organizers that has publicly criticized the foundation over funding and transparency.
“I know some of (the families) are feeling exploited, their pain exploited, and that’s not something that I ever want to be affiliated with,” Dickerson said.
While the Global Network Foundation took in $90 million last year, the 10 BLM chapters which are connected to the Foundation said “to the best of our knowledge, most chapters have received little to no financial support from BLMGN since the launch in 2013.”
Family members are also speaking out, on hearing about the news that Cullors had resigned, the NY Post reported.
“I don’t believe she is going anywhere,” Samaria Rice, the mother of a 12-year-old boy shot by Cleveland police while playing with a toy gun, told The Post. “It’s all a facade. She’s only saying that to get the heat off her right now.”
Lisa Simpson, a Los Angeles-based mother whose son was slain by police in 2016, also blasted Cullors.
“Now she doesn’t have to show her accountability,” Simpson, 52, told The Post. “She can just take the money and run.”
Rice said, “They are benefiting off the blood of our loved ones, and they won’t even talk to us.” Simpson said BLM Los Angeles raised $5,000 allegedly for her son’s funeral, but she never got any of it. As we reported, Rice and Simpson have criticized the BLM before, as has the mother of Breonna Taylor who called them a “fraud.”
I’m kind of with Samaria Rice on this one, I actually think that’s a pretty sage assessment. I’m inclined to think this is about cooling off the heat on the organization, since a lot of the questions presently are focused on her. But that doesn’t change the greater question that the BLM10 is asking: where is all the money going? They owe these parents, their chapters, and the public some answers.