It was following George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict that Patrisse Cullors helped co-found the Black Lives Matter foundation. The charitable organization has been instrumental in organizing protests, marches, and reportedly giving back to local communities, but they were called into question last week when it became public that Cullors recently purchased a million-dollar Los Angeles residence.
Additional sleuthing uncovered that Cullors had a housing portfolio that spanned states and reached into the $3 million range, and soon, she was a trending topic. People soon accused Cullors of taking donation funds and criticized her for buying properties in predominately White neighborhoods. After taking hits from the public and in the media, Cullors is answering her detractors.
Cullors spoke with Marc Lamont Hill on Black News Tonight and claimed that she purchased the homes for her relatives. “I have never taken a salary from the Black Lives Matters Global Networks Foundation,” said Cullors. “That’s important because what the right-wing media is trying to say is that the donations that people gave to Black Lives Matter went towards my spending, and that is categorically untrue and incredibly dangerous.”
She called the conversation about the residences “racist and sexist,” adding, “I think that is a critique that is wanting. The way that I live my life is a direct support to Black people, including my Black family members, first and foremost… For so many Black folks who are able to invest in themselves and their communities, they choose to invest in their family and that is what I have chosen to do.”
Cullors accused her critics of attempting to discredit both her and the BLM foundation. Photos of her properties were circulated online, causing her to hire security at those locations for her family members. “I have not just been a target of White supremacists and the right in this moment but obviously since the beginning of when I started Black Lives Matter I have been a target and these folks have created a much more dangerous situation for me and my family. It is very serious,” she added.
In a statement, Cullors also said, “I’ve 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 in all of these areas and work hard to provide for my family.” Her memoir became a best-seller. Check out her explanation below.