Activist group Black Lives Matter was backed into a corner yet again over the transparency of its finances after it emerged the charitable organization had used loyal supporter’s money for yet another luxury mansion which its leaders used to host champagne parties and dinner parties.
The six bedroomed estate in California which features a pool, mini film studio and sprawling 3.25 acres of grounds is estimated to be worth an eye-watering $6 million. The 6,500 square foot mansion was paid for by donations sent to the group from supporters around the world.
While the group now claims the property was purchased for black creative artists to use to produce films or music, to encourage “black creativity” and to provide “a space for black folks to share their gifts with the world and hone their crafts,” the Daily Mail claims the handling of the propery’s paperwork and the blurring of lines between charitable donations and private equity suggest its existence was kept on the down-low.
In leaked emails from leaders obtained by New York Magazine, they mysteriously refer to the property as a “hole”
BLM high-ups have been photographed enjoying the use of the estate – with three of its leaders staging elaborate champagne parties and filming a series of videos inside the mansion.
If you want to see the face of the BLM movement, look no further then that $6 million dollar mansion they purchased. pic.twitter.com/4OQTvuLwDQ
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) April 7, 2022
A video was shared by ex-leader Patrisse Cullors in June which showed her and two other former officials Alicia Garza and Melina Abdullah enjoying an elaborate brunch outside the estate.
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Cullors, 38, was since forced to resign from her position in the organization following the revelations that she had used BLM donations to assist her in the purchase of four properties in Los Angeles and Atlanta adding up to around $3.1 million. Cullors later produced a series of Instagram posts accusing her critics of being “sexist and racist”.
The group was forced to stop taking donations in February as California attorney general demanded the group prove where millions of donations were spent over the year 2020, which led Charity Watch official Laurie Styron to say BLM was:
“Like a giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew, and no clear direction”.
On its official Twitter page, BLM issued a series of Tweets apologizing for the group’s on-going lack of “transparency” with regards to its use of public donations. It admitted “there is more work to do to increase transparency and ensure transitions in leadership are clear”.
But the apology seemed somewhat half-hearted, as the Tweets then go on to seemingly blame the media for being “inflammatory” and “speculative” for reporting about the group’s use of its donations.
The Tweets accuse the media of following a “narrative” which has caused “harm to organizers doing brilliant work across the country and these reports do not reflect the totality of the movement”.
The organization then went on to defend the purchase of the Los Angeles mansion which it says was intended to provide a space for black creatives, its spending of $3 million for “COVID relief” and $25 million forwarded to black-led organizations.
Last year, the group was unable to explain where around $60 million of its funding had gone – a mystery which remains unsolved to this day.