Patrisse Cullors breaks silence on BLM controversy: ‘It’s harmful and scary’

The Black Lives Matter co-founder took to Instagram, and in a series of posts, she claims not only is the information false but it's dangerous

Loading the player...

Patrisse Cullors is finally speaking out about the rumors around her finances.

Read More: Black Lives Matter backs Amazon union push in Alabama

The Black Lives Matter co-founder made headlines after it was revealed that she allegedly purchased several luxurious homes in upscale neighborhoods with funds from the organization.

As previously reported by theGrio, an investigation is being opened in light of the allegations.

Cullors, 37, has reportedly purchased four high-end homes for $3.2M in the U.S. alone, per the New York Post, including property in a mostly white area of Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles County for $1.4M.

BLM reportedly brought in $90M in donations last year, and questions have emerged about if or how Cullors is paid by the organization and how much she has contributed to charity, per Daily Mail

“If you go around calling yourself a socialist, you have to ask how much of her own personal money is going to charitable causes,” Newsome told the Post. “It’s really sad because it makes people doubt the validity of the movement and overlook the fact that it’s the people that carry this movement,” he continued.

In response to the claims, Cullors defended herself via a series of Instagram posts on Tuesday.

She captioned the series of images with:

“There’s a false and defamatory article about me being amplified by media right now, and I want to make some things clear.”

Cullors’ full statement on Instagram read:

“This movement began as, and will always remain a love letter to Black people. Three words – Black Lives Matter – serve as a reminder to Black people that we are human and deserve to live a vibrant and full life. I worked multiple jobs across many organizations my entire life. I’m also a published author, writer, producer, professor, public speaker, and performance artist.

I love my work and all of these areas and I work hard to provide for my family. I am accountable to my community in pursuit of an abolitionist world founded in transformative justice. I do not receive a salary or benefits from Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. Period. This effort to discredit and harass me and my family is not new, nor is it acceptable. It has taken away from where the focus should be– ending white supremacy.

You may not like or agree with me. I have definitely made mistakes. I own up to that. I apologize for the mistakes I have made and I work hard at practicing my abolitionist values. But this is deeper than that. I’m talking to these articles being full of lies. It’s also dangerous. This is doxxing, attacking someone online by disseminating private information about them.

It’s harmful and it’s scary for people and their loved ones, especially someone who receives death threats regularly. To my fellow Black activists, you know what this is. We’ve seen this tactic of terror time and again. I’ll admit, this is a scary time for me. But I will not let this be the moment that silences me. We still have work to do.”

Frieze Project Artist Patrisse Cullors x Summit x Cultured Magazine Dinner at Ardor at The West Hollywood EDITION
Patrisse Cullors at the Frieze Project Artist Patrisse Cullors x Summit x Cultured Magazine Dinner on February 13, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for The West Hollywood EDITION)

Cullors did not specifically deny any of the allegations against her in her posts.

Newsome’s organization, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York — which he represents during television appearances and interviews — is not affiliated with Black Lives Matter Global Network, which was co-founded by Cullors along with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.

In a statement provided to theGrioBlack Lives Matter Global Network responded to concerns regarding Cullors’ earnings from the organization.

“Patrisse Cullors is the Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF). She serves in this role in a volunteer capacity and does not receive a salary or benefits. Patrisse has received a total of $120,000 since the organization’s inception in 2013, for duties such as serving as spokesperson and engaging in political education work. Patrisse did not receive any compensation after 2019,” BLM Global Network said in the statement.  

Read More: Activists call for release of bodycam footage in police shooting death of boy, 13

“To be abundantly clear, as a registered 501c3, BLMGNF cannot and did not commit any organizational resources toward the purchase of personal property by any employee or volunteer. Any insinuation or assertion to the contrary is categorically false. 

Additional reporting by Ny Magee

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...