Black Lives Matter ignores victims of systemic racism and enriches a select few, so say the families of those killed by the police and many of the group’s own activists.
Founded in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for his role in Trayvon Martin’s death, the group has held protests around the country against perceived systemic racism against minorities. Black Lives Matter has sparked global conversations on race and policing and is credited with a number of criminal justice reform efforts.
But on Thursday, the mother of Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed by police during a raid in March 2020, charged that the movement in her city of Louisville, Kentucky, is nothing more than a scam.
“I have never personally dealt with BLM Louisville, and personally have found them to be fraud,” Tamika Palmer wrote on Facebook.
“I could walk in a room full of people who claim to be here for Breonna’s family who don’t even know who I am,” Palmer said. “I’ve watched y’all raise money on behalf of Breonna’s family who has never done a damn thing for us nor have we needed it … or asked so talk about fraud. It’s amazing how many people have lost focus … I’m gonna say this before I go. I’m so sick of some of y’all.”
Palmer’s critiques weren’t unique.
Last month, the father of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old shot and killed by police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, asked Black Lives Matter a simple question: “Where is all that money going?”
A review of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s financial documents found the group raised nearly $100 million in 2020, of which less than $40 million was spent in the last year.
“Who are they giving [the money] to, and what are they doing with it?” Michael Brown Sr. asked. “Why hasn’t my family’s foundation received any assistance from the movement? How could you leave the families who are helping the community without any funding?”
A group of black activists named the International Black Freedom Alliance asked Black Lives Matter to give their group $20 million “in order to continue the work they started.”
Black Lives Matter says its money has been used for “building out the institution we’ve been trying to build for the last seven and a half years.”
“Who are they giving [the money] to, and what are they doing with it?” Brown wrote. “Why hasn’t my family’s foundation received any assistance from the movement? How could you leave the families who are helping the community without any funding?”
Black Lives Matter activists in cities around the country have raised concerns with how leadership is spending its donations, alleging that on-the-ground activists are being left behind by leadership.
“For years there has been inquiry regarding the financial operations of BLMGN and no acceptable process of either public or internal transparency about the unknown millions of dollars donated to BLMGN, which has certainly increased during this time of pandemic and rebellion,” a collective of Black Lives Matter chapters wrote in December of last year. “To the best of our knowledge, most chapters have received little to no financial support from BLMGN since the launch in 2013. It was only in the last few months that selected chapters appear to have been invited to apply for a $500,000 grant created with resources generated because of the organizing labor of chapters. This is not the equity and financial accountability we deserve.”
For some of the activist group’s leaders, life has been good.
Take, for example, Patrisse Khan-Cullors. Over the last five years, the Black Lives Matter co-founder bought millions of dollars worth of real estate in California and Georgia.
The self-proclaimed Marxist defended those purchases, saying they were consistent with her commitment to communism and racial justice.
“I think that is a critique that is wanting, and I say that because the way that I live my life is in direct support to black people, including my black family members, first and foremost,” she said in a Thursday interview. “For so many black folks who are able to invest in themselves and their community, they choose to invest in their family, and that’s what I have chosen to do.”
Despite her defense, other Black Lives Matter activists are demanding an investigation.
The leader of the greater New York City chapter of the group, Hawk Newsome, called for “an independent investigation” into Khan-Cullors’s spending.
Source: Washington Examiner : The families left behind by Black Lives Matter