Black Lives Matter raised tens of millions of dollars amid the violent protests and riots that followed the infamous George Floyd killing. Many of us who sat and watched with anxiety from the sidelines couldn’t believe what we were seeing but hoped someday that the funds raised would be used to help rebuild the black communities that were burned to the ground throughout 2020.
Almost 2 years later, we still don’t quite know what BLM has done with the funds raised. We know that Patrice Cullors, co-founder of the organization has amassed a $3 million property portfolio and has since resigned as the Executive Director over ‘right-wing attacks’, but where is the has the money gone?
The BLM foundation revealed in February 2021 that it took in just over $90 million in 2020 and that it had spent a quarter of its assets on ‘operating expenses’ according to Daily Mail. Cullors has allegedly only been paid $120,000 by BLM since its inception in 2013.
The 37-year-old activist told The Associated Press nearly one year ago that she was leaving to focus on other projects, including the upcoming release of her second book and a multi-year TV development deal with Warner Bros.
But who’s been managing the money since, and who’s responsible for reporting how the finances are being spent?
Political leaders have been asking this question for months now, and have got nowhere, leaving them with no choice but to now threaten to hold the charity’s leaders personally liable over its lack of financial transparency. California and Washington recently ordered BLM to cease all fundraising activities in their blue states due to the failure of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the legal entity that represents the national BLM movement, to report information about its finances in 2020
Black Lives Matter has since shut down all of its online fundraising channels late Wednesday afternoon. The move comes less than a week after a Washington Examiner investigation found that BLM has had no known leader in charge of its $60 million bankroll since its Cullors resigned in May.
“We take these matters seriously and have taken immediate action,” an unidentified spokesperson for the BLMGNF told the Washington Examiner. “We have immediately engaged compliance counsel to address any issues related to state fundraising compliance. In the interim, we have shut down online fundraising as we work quickly to ensure we are meeting all compliance requirements.”
The California Department of Justice told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday that “BLMGNF is prohibited from soliciting donations so long as its status is listed as delinquent.”
BLM also received notice from the state of Washington on Jan. 5 to “immediately cease” all fundraising activities in the state. Washington warned the charity that it could face fines of $2,000 for each violation.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita previously said BLM’s refusal to answer basic questions about its finances and operations fits a common and disturbing pattern.
“It appears that the house of cards may be falling, and this happens eventually with nearly every scam, scheme, or illegal enterprise,” Rokita, a Republican, said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “I see patterns that scams kind of universally take: failure to provide board members, failure to provide even executive directors, failure to make your filings available. It all leads to suspicion.”
According to WashingtonExaminer.com BLM’s charity registration is also out of compliance in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia.