By ONME News
Producer host, Julia Dudley Najieb, of podcast show, News Too Real, uses this entire episode to explain to the audience the basis of the Black Lives Matter controversy; watch revealing, researched findings related to the Black Lives Matter Movement and its key founder, Patrisse Cullors.
In the summer of 2020, BuzzFeed broke a story dealing with the confusion of the Black Lives Matter Movement, a concept and cause revealed by founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and with a 501(c)(3) organization with the same name, Black Lives Matter Foundation, created in 2015. However, the latter is not in any way related to the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Such information was disheartening for a number of employees from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Dropbox, who took advantage of their company's donation-matching programs via Benevity to help raise over $4 million for the Black Lives Matter Foundation, according to BuzzFeed News.
According to chief operating officer, Ray Barnes, a 67-year-old Canyon Country resident, the mission of his Black Lives Matter Foundation is to“to help survivors and families that have suffered from the loss of a relative or a loved one as a result of an unjust or questionable police shooting, and use our unique and creative ideas to help bring the police and the community closer together to save lives.”
Although the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials never heard of Barnes’ foundation, nor had they opened an investigation into it, Barnes' California-based organization was a legitimate entity taking advantage of a national cause not related to his foundation's mission, like many others across the state and nation.
Meanwhile, Khan-Cullors is currently under fire by some mainstream headlines who are suggesting that she used donations and funds from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation to purchase four homes; however, from 2016-2020, Thousand Currents served as the fiscal sponsor for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Project because Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. was not a registered 501(c)(3) yet.
The fiscal agent is the entity responsible for ensuring that collected funds are to go to the suggested cause publicized; they only have to disclose what moneys they gave to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. However, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. does not have to expose their expenses, budget or publicize what they have done with the recent $90 million they raised, whether that makes such an action morally wrong or not.
The four homes purchased over the course of five years include: a three-bed, one-and-a-half-bath Inglewood home (over 47% Black residents) for $510,000 in 2016; a four-bedroom residence in South L.A. (over 35% Black residents) for $590,000 in 2018; a three-bed home on several acres in the Atlanta suburb of Conyers for $415,000 in 2020; and, most recently, the Topanga Canyon compound (less than 2% Black residents) for over $1.4 million--that was the subject of the Dirt.com story--also in Los Angeles County.
Although the headlines suggest that Khan-Cullors could possibly be using funds from her Black Lives Matter cause, there is not enough clear evidence to suggest that is the case.
In fact, in evaluating her income below, there are ways Khan-Cullors would be able to afford her current lifestyle, (excluding her wife, who also has made some major deals.):
•Otis College of Art and Design employees earn $47,500 annually on average, or $23 per
hour, which is 33% lower than the national salary average of $66,000 per year.
•Total 44 faculties (full-time instructional staffs) work for Prescott College and the average
salary for the faculties is $45,856 (equated to 9-month contract).
•Cullors earned $120,000.00 from 2013 to 2019 from the Black Lives Matter Global Network
•Cullors' book deal with St. Martin’s Press, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives
Matter Memoir was published in January 2018, sold approximately 50,000 copies
($500,000 to $1 million advance from top literary agency)
•Cullors earns money as a speaker and a panelist monthly
•Undisclosed Warner Bros. deal is approximately $500,000.00 to seven figures
It is evident that misguidance and ignorance of the initial organization process or the options available could be the root cause of the current appearance of the Black Lives Matter organization suffering much grief for their "leaderless movement," they purposely purported to the public, not wanting to conform to the social constructs of American-ran non-profits and corporations.
However such a model leads to a plethora of confusion for the 10 chapters they claim are legitimate affiliates under their Black Lives Matter cause --the chapter members, too, are complaining about the lack of transparency concerning donations and the funds currently available from the $90 million collected.
About Patrisse Cullors
Khan-Cullors was born in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in Pacoima, a low-income neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley,becoming an activist early in life, joining the Bus Riders Union (BRU) under the leadership of Eric Mann as a teenager.
Khan-Cullors left her home at age 16 because her parents could not accept her queer identification.
Along with community organizers and friends Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, Cullors founded Black Lives Matter. The three started the movement out of frustration over George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Khan-Cullorscreated the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in 2013 to corroborate Garza's use of the phrase in making a Facebook post about the Martin case. Khan-Cullors further described her impetus for pushing for African-American rights stemming from her 19-year-old brother being brutalized during imprisonment in Los Angeles County jails, according to Wikipedia.
She later earned a degree in religion and philosophy from UCLA. She also received an MFA from the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California.
Cullors teaches at Otis College of Art and Design in the Public Practice Program, and she also teaches in the Master's Arts in Social Justice and Community Organizing at Prescott College.