I referred to the Black Lives Matter organization as a scam in a post yesterday. Those who don’t follow the news closely may not have understood that characterization. This New York Magazine piece is a good place to start.
It focuses mainly on a $6 million house in California that Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the BLM umbrella organization, bought with donated funds in October 2020. BLM has plenty of money to spare, having taken in, by its own account, $90 million in donations in 2020, of which it still had $60 million on hand as of February 2021. The group’s founders love real estate; the New York Post revealed in April 2021 that Patrice Cullors, a BLM executive, had just spent $3 million to buy herself four homes. You won’t read about that on Facebook, however:
It’s currently not possible to share the Post’s article on Cullors’s home purchases on Facebook because the site’s parent company, Meta, has labeled the content “abusive.”
In other words, inconvenient for the powers that be.
The author of the linked story got access to emails and other documents in which BLM leaders discussed how to spin their $6 million real estate purchase:
On March 30, I asked the organization questions about the house, which is known internally as “Campus.” Afterward, leaders circulated an internal strategy memo with possible responses, ranging from “Can we kill the story?” to “Our angle — needs to be to deflate ownership of the property.”
BLM also hired a private detective:
At other points, Bowers and his associates direct a private investigator to look into BLMGNF detractors and journalists, including me.
It is widely known that BLM’s finances are a mess. It doesn’t appear that the organization has ever carried out the most basic filings required of nonprofits:
BLMGNF was awarded tax-exempt status from the IRS in December 2020, two months after the house’s purchase. The distinction meant the group would have to disclose information about donors and expenditures in an annual filing known as a 990. But BLMGNF has not submitted those forms for 2020 or 2021. It also has problems at the state level: The Washington Examiner reported in February 2022 that California’s attorney general told the group it was considered delinquent. BLMGNF has since retained the high-profile Democratic lawyer Marc Elias and maneuvered to get more time to formally submit data from 2020 by switching from calendar-year to fiscal-year tracking.
Fundraising for BLMGNF seems to have come to an end, at least for now:
In the meantime, contributions to the group have been essentially shut down. AmazonSmile suspended the organization from its platform in February 2022, and BLMGNF has removed donation links from its own website.
Still, I suppose that $90 million could last for quite a while. And that figure likely understates the amount that panicked corporations poured into BLM’s coffers as protection money in 2020. This is a sordid story that seems to be drawing to a close. It is unlikely that any outsider will ever find out where most of the money went. It is equally unlikely that any federal or state law enforcement entity will go after BLMGNF for fraud, as would happen with a non-politically favored nonprofit.
UPDATE: Quite a few of the companies that paid extortion money to BLM in 2020 are publicly traded. Activist shareholders in those companies should demand accountability: How much did we contribute? To what entity or entities? How was our money used? Do we actually have any idea? Where is the accounting, in writing? Who is accountable for this expense? Why do we think it did our company any good? These are just some of the questions that left-leaning management should be required to answer.