For more than a year, the conservative media has been accusing patisse cullors, co-founder and CEO of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, of embezzling the organization’s funds. He recently sat down with FOX SOUL’s Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee uncensored to discuss the accusations.
Cullors said: “One of the criticisms was that I bought a house, and I was so surprised by Jason that that was like a thing. I bought a house in Los Angeles and it cost 1.4 million dollars.” While that price may seem high to some, Cullors went on to explain, “That really is like a bargain in Los Angeles.”
“The first kind of background was that you all have all this money, and this really came from certain people. You know, you all have this money, it has to go to certain people.”
He continued: “Not necessarily people that I knew, some people that I did know, but not necessarily people that are like the organizers, but more like every day, black people say ‘wait a second, you have all this money, where does it go? ?’ So that was like the first type of conversation.”
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In April 2021, a right-wing thinktank released property records showing Cullors’ real estate holdings, which reportedly included three houses in Southern California and a ranch in Georgia. The findings were reported in right-wing media outlets, many of which suggested that Cullors had profited from the organization raising $90 million last year.
Patrisse Cullors denied all allegations, with the BLM stating via its official Twitter account: “Patrisse has received a total of $120,000 since the organization’s inception in 2013, for roles such as serving as a spokesperson and participating in political education work. . Patrisse did not receive any compensation after 2019.”
In the interview with Lee, Cullors addressed criticism of his financial success and his role as a leader in the BLM movement: “I’m still thinking, I’m the Patrisse of 818 that people know. I’ve been doing this job forever. I didn’t think it would be a real hassle to buy a house, I didn’t think so. If I had thought that, I would have done things differently.” Cullors continued: “One of my good friends told me, ‘I know you think you’re still a grassroots organizer, you’re not, you’re different now. That doesn’t mean you’re not part of the movement, it doesn’t mean you don’t love black people, but your relationship with who you used to be, that older person. I think I really had to come to terms with that this last year and a half.”
Cullors went on to say, “I also believe that black people who fight on behalf of black people should be paid. I don’t think we should take a poverty oath; I think it’s a really slippery slope and I really think it affects people’s ability to feel fulfilled as black people.”
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As for how the money that was donated to BLM was used, Cullors explained, “What people don’t know is that we’ve had tons of conversations with people, we’ve sat down with a lot of families, we’ve sat down with a lot of organizations, we’ve done our due diligence and in fact we’re always committed once the money came in was always to re-grant a large amount and withhold a large amount as well so that finally the global movement that we created the global network can be funded I think part of the The problem, I’ll just say for myself, is that I wish I had more conversations on the front lines, and I assumed people knew me well enough to trust me.”
Watch Patrisse Cullors’ full interview with Jason Lee here.