Black Lives Matter is an organization that gained immense traction in 2020 when George Floyd died and the riots broke out across the country in his memory.
While BLM presented itself as a charity that was going to help American minority communities flourish and prosper, it wasn't long until the organization was exposed for lacking a 501c3 nonprofit status and collecting millions of dollars in donations that haven't been accounted for.
Co-founder Patrisse Cullors has come under fire recently when it was uncovered that BLM purchased a $6 million mansion in Los Angeles with donations given to the organization as they were claiming to help black Americans improve their lives. The home has six bedrooms, multiple fireplaces, a pool and bungalow, parking for 20 cars, and a soundstage. Finally, Cullors admitted to the Associated Press that she lied about what the mansion was used for.
Patrisse Cullors Originally Claimed That the Mansion Was Only Used for Business Purposes
BLM has raised $90 million so far (that we know of), and the organization is still sitting on $60 million in cash. Thanks to their vigorous fundraising efforts, they purchased this mansion in Studio City and claimed it was a "housing and studio space" for recipients of the Black Joy Creators Fellowship. But there has been very little content filmed at the home since the time of purchase.
After New York Magazine revealed details about this purchase, Cullors issued a statement saying that she never lived there and she never used the property for her personal gain. But in April 2021, Cullors uploaded a video to her personal YouTube page in which she makes a peach cobbler in the kitchen of the BLM house, and there are other videos on her channel that seem to match the real estate photos of the house's interior. These videos have since been removed from YouTube.
Cullors' response to the New York Magazine coverage was, firstly, denying that there was any wrongdoing and that the property was purchased as a "safe space" for black activists to use for content creation. She then had a second, more predictable response: she launched the "racist and sexist" allegations at people who criticized this massive BLM purchase, insisting that this was a coordinated attack on black activists who are trying to bring more equality to the U.S. That didn't really go down well, and many people were still critical of how the organization handled this purchase.
Patrisse Cullors Admits She Used the Mansion for Parties
In a recent interview with the AP, Cullors backtracked and finally admitted that the BLM mansion was in fact wrongly used for personal endeavors. She said she used the house on two separate occasions: her son's birthday party and a Biden inauguration party.
“I look back at that and think, that probably wasn’t the best idea,” she said. But she still maintains that it's a "false narrative" that anyone in the organization has been misusing the funds received as donations. "It’s impacted me personally and professionally, that people would accuse me of stealing from black people," she claimed.
“On paper, it looks crazy,” she continued. “We use this term in our movement a lot, which is we’re building the plane while flying it. I don’t believe in that anymore. The only regret I have with BLM is wishing that we could have paused for one to two years, to just not do any work and just focus on the infrastructure.”
She insisted that hiring her mom and brother to work at the mansion was purely because they had "skillsets" that the organization could use. Cullors maintains that her primary goal is to abolish the police and rid the U.S. of racial inequality.
"It's not like I literally was like, I'm bringing all my family and friends in. Folks had skillsets," she explained. "It’s been a really bizarre experience to know the truth and to have false and misinformation be spread about me, especially around my own personal resources that I worked my ass off to attain."
Very few people are buying Cullors' story, though. We have yet to receive an answer to the question that thousands of people have been asking for the better part of two years: where did the millions and millions of BLM donations go? Because it sure doesn't seem like a single dollar has gone to improving the lives of black individuals across America.