News April 13, 2021 at 03:00 pm

Why this BLM founder’s million-dollar homes have sparked an outcry

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor April 13, 2021 at 03:00 pm

April 13, 2021 at 03:00 pm | News

Patrisse Cullors speaking in Tottenham, north London as part of the Furguson Solidarity Tour. 25th January 2015. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Patrisse Cullors

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors reportedly made over million-dollar real estate purchases in recent years and people are displeased with it. According to The New York Post, Cullors, 37, purchased four high-end homes for $3.2 million in the U.S. alone, with one being in a mostly white area of Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles County for $1.4 million.

Cullors and spouse, Janaya Khan, also reportedly own a “custom ranch” on 3.2 acres in Conyers, Georgia, which they bought last year for $415,000. What’s more, Cullors reportedly paid $510,000 for a three-bedroom home in Inglewood, California, and $590,000 for a four-bedroom home in South LA that she bought in 2018. Last year, The Post said she was spotted in the Bahamas looking for a unit at a location where people go for “complete and total privacy”.

The Post report has since sparked criticism, with BLM supporters calling for an investigation. “If you go around calling yourself a socialist, you have to ask how much of her own personal money is going to charitable causes,” said Hawk Newsome, the head of Black Lives Matter Greater New York City. “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.” Newsome’s Black Lives Matter of Greater New York has no links with Black Lives Matter Global Network which was co-founded by Cullors.

Cullors co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2013. Cullors, who first used the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in July 2013, has been involved in activism and advocacy work over the years. Last month, reports said BLM received over $90 million in the wake of protests that broke out after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others.

BLM activists are now demanding $20 million from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, including Michael Brown Sr., whose son Michael Brown Jr. was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. “Why hasn’t my family’s foundation received any assistance from the movement?” Michael Brown Sr. asked in a statement last month. Meanwhile, the Black Lives Matter Global Network has responded to backlash emerging from Cullors’ earnings from the organization. In a statement to The Post, it said:

“Patrisse Cullors is the Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF). She serves in this role in a volunteer capacity and does not receive a salary or benefits. Patrisse has received a total of $120,000 since the organization’s inception in 2013, for duties such as serving as spokesperson and engaging in political education work. Patrisse did not receive any compensation after 2019.  

“To be abundantly clear, as a registered 501c3, BLMGNF cannot and did not commit any organizational resources toward the purchase of personal property by any employee or volunteer. Any insinuation or assertion to the contrary is categorically false. 

“Patrisse’s work for Black people over the years has made her and others who align with the fight for Black liberation targets of racist violence. The narratives being spread about Patrisse have been generated by right-wing forces intent on reducing the support and influence of a movement that is larger than any one organization. This right-wing offensive not only puts Patrisse, her child and her loved ones in harm’s way, it also continues a tradition of terror by white supremacists against Black activists. All Black activists know the fear these malicious and serious actions are meant to instill: the fear of being silenced, the trauma of being targeted, the torture of feeling one’s family is exposed to danger just for speaking out against unjust systems. We have seen this tactic of terror time and again, but our movement will not be silenced.” 

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