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Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors said the organization is awash with “White guilt money.”
Cullors made the comment in an MSNBC podcast posted Monday afternoon in response to a question from host Trymaine Lee, who had asked if the organization’s “tsunami of flooding” was shocking and if they had guardrails in place to ensure its cash was “being directed in the proper ways.”
“Yes, it was a major shock,” Cullors said on the “Into America” podcast. “It was also a lot of like, ‘Oh, wait, I did not see that coming.’ You know, contrary to what, you know, has been reported, much of the funding that came in was from individual donors.”
“That was a lot of White guilt money,” Cullors continued. “There’s a lot of White folks being like, ‘We just got to put the money.”‘
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, its primary nonprofit, collected $90 million throughout 2020, a financial snapshot released by the group in early 2021 showed.
Cullors stepped away from the BLM Global Network Foundation in May 2021 amid scrutiny over her $3.2 million real-estate buying binge, which included the BLM leader scooping up four homes. Cullors also allegedly eyed property in the Bahamas at a posh resort where Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods own homes.
Cullors, however, did not directly answer if guardrails were in place for its spending, but said they were building its infrastructure on the fly. She has maintained they did not misuse its funds.
“So I was really called back in to help do that work,” Cullors said. “And I did a lot of that labor, I did a lot of that framework. And I’ve left BLM, but a lot of that infrastructure was being built to figure out where do we go with this.”
“And folks who are listening should know this,” Cullors continued. “There are groups that build infrastructure for three to five years before they become public. And they raise money, and they take their time. We didn’t have that luxury. We were building the plane as we fly it.”
“And frankly, in the position I’m in now, what I will be teaching, you know, the next generation of young Black leaders is don’t build the plane and fly it,” Cullors said. “It’s not worth it. Because the standards in which we are criticized and scrutinized is very different than White nonprofits. We undergo a different set of standards. I did realize that. I knew that theoretically, I didn’t realize that.”
Cullors recently made headlines after a New York Magazine report exposed a $6 million Los Angeles mansion purchased by the BLM Global Network Foundation.
The event led to the BLM activist calling charity transparency laws “triggering,” particularly the requirement that groups file Form 990s, or tax forms, to the IRS.
“It is such a trip now to hear the term ‘990,’” Cullors said in April. “I’m, like, ugh. It’s, like, triggering.”
Cullors said she “actually did not know what 990s were” before the report was released.
It’s unclear why Cullors pinned the blame for the exposé on Form 990s, as the BLM Global Network Foundation has yet to release a tax form that shows its financial transactions.
The Washington Examiner reported that the group had used an “accounting gimmick” to delay the release of its 2021 tax forms by switching from a “calendar” to a “fiscal” year.