Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors is speaking out and denying accusations that she used donation money for personal gain.
The response comes after leaders of the movement faced backlash as a result of a scathing article published by New York Magazine accusing the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s leaders of using donations from supporters to purchase a whopping $6 million house in southern California back in 2020.
The article accused BLM figureheads Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Melina Abdullah of buying the 6,500 square foot home that reportedly consists of “more than half a dozen bedrooms and bathrooms, several fireplaces, a soundstage, a pool and bungalow” in addition to “parking for more than 20 cars.” While Garza and Abdullah have yet to comment on the accusations, Cullors, who no longer works with the social movement, vehemently denied the allegations.
In an extended statement released on Tuesday via Instagram, Cullors—who stepped down from her BLMGNF position of executive director last May—criticized the April 4-dated piece from New York Magazine’s Intelligencer as being “filled with misinformation, innuendo, and incendiary opinions.”
“Yesterday’s article in New York Magazine is a despicable abuse of a platform that’s intended to provide truthful information to the public,” Cullors wrote in a statement posted to Instagram on April 5. “Journalism is supposed to mitigate harm and inform our communities. [The] fact that a reputable publication would allow a reporter, with a proven and very public bias against me and other Black leaders, to write a piece filled with misinformation, innuendo, and incendiary opinions, is disheartening and unacceptable.”
While Cullors didn’t deny that the property was indeed purchased, she did expound on the reasoning behind the organization’s decision to buy the home announcing they were building a safe space for creatives, before adding that she has no authority or a say in the organization’s decision-making process since stepping down from the organization.
“The reason it wasn’t announced prior is not nefarious as the headline infers, the property needed repairs and renovation. I do not own the property, have never lived there and made that clear to the reporter,” Cullorscontinued. “I have never misappropriated funds, and it pains me that so many people have accepted that narrative without the presence of tangible truth or facts…I admittedly have not always responded and I know my silence has contributed to doubt,” wrote Cullors. “I apologize if it has caused you harm of any kind. But I’m asking you all to understand the enormous pressure and fear that comes with living under the constant threat of a white supremacist terror and real threats on my life and those of people I love.”
BLM board member Shalomyah Bower also released a statement about the home supporting Cullors claim.
“The organization always planned to disclose the property on the upcoming 990 due May 15th as part of BLMGNF’s ongoing transparency efforts,” the statement reportedly read. “BLMGNF has and continues to utilize the space for programming and leadership off-sites. The property does not serve as a personal residence.”
Coincidentally, on Monday, BLM announced the news of the creator house and fellowship, teasing the forthcoming application for Black creatives to apply.
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