BLM co-founder defends her property empire and reveals she has ‘spent the last week with security’

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has responded to criticism over her property empire saying it is 'categorically untrue' and 'incredibly dangerous' to suggest she may have used any organization funds for her homes

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has responded to criticism over her property empire saying it is ‘categorically untrue’ and ‘incredibly dangerous’ to suggest she may have used any organization funds for her homes.

Cullors described the scrutiny over her $3 million empire of four homes as a ‘racist and sexist’ attack by the ‘right-wing media’ in an interview with Marc Lamont Hill for Black News Tonight on Thursday.

The 37-year-old, who set up BLM with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi back in 2013, broke down in tears as she revealed she has ‘spent the last week with security’ after her homes were first pictured in the media.  

She also shielded criticism from some on the left who have questioned whether her ownership of four homes contradicts her ideology as a ‘trained Marxist’ as she said she has invested in the properties to provide for her family and sees her wealth ‘as my family’s money, as well.’   

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has responded to criticism over her property empire saying it is ‘categorically untrue’ and ‘incredibly dangerous’ to suggest she may have used any organization funds for her homes

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has responded to criticism over her property empire saying it is 'categorically untrue' and 'incredibly dangerous' to suggest she may have used any organization funds for her homes

Cullors told Lamont Hill people need to ‘see through the right-wing lies’ being pushed and doubled down that she is not paid by the BLM Global Network Foundation.

‘I have never taken a salary from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and that’s important because what the right-wing media is trying to say is the donations that people have made to Black Lives Matter went toward my spending and that is categorically untrue and incredibly dangerous,’ she said. 

The 37-year-old told the presenter it was ‘correct’ that she had bought her homes with income not earned directly from BLM.

‘That’s correct. I’m a college professor first of all, I’m a TV producer and I have had two book deals…. and also have had a YouTube deal,’ she said.  

‘So all of my income comes directly from the work that I do.’

Cullors went on to say that while she had never ‘never taken a salary from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’, she believes organizers should be paid a living wage for their work.  

‘Organizers should get paid for the work that they do. They should get paid a living wage,’ she said.

Cullors branded the focus on her homes and finances as ‘racist and sexist’ and said it was common in the black community for people to invest in properties to provide for their family members.

It emerged last week that Cullors had bought this $1.4 million home in a white area of LA

It emerged last week that Cullors had bought this $1.4 million home in a white area of LA

She has also bought three other homes including this one in Georgia - altogether totaling around $3 million

She has also bought three other homes including this one in Georgia – altogether totaling around $3 million  

‘And the fact that the right-wing media is trying to create hysteria around my spending is, frankly, racist and sexist and I also want to say that many of us that end up investing in homes in the black community often invest in homes to take care of their family,’ she said.

‘You can talk to so many black people and black women particularly that take care of their families, take care of their loved ones especially when they’re in a position to.’ 

The homes she has bought ‘directly support the people that I love and care about’, she said, adding that she is not ‘renting them out in some Airbnb operation.’ 

She also said the New York Post’s claim that she was shopping for a home in the Bahamas is a ‘lie’ and that she hasn’t visited the country in more than two decades when she went on a dancing trip aged 15. 

Lamont Hill pointed out that Cullors has also been criticized by ‘the left’ that ‘extravagant homes of any sort or multiple properties of any sort is itself contradictory’ to her ideology as a Marxist. 

When asked about this critique of a ‘potential contradiction’ between her ‘expressed politics’ and ‘lived practice’, Cullors said there was no contradiction as she is supporting her family and the black community. 

‘I think that is critique that is wanting,’ she said.

‘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 described the scrutiny over her $3 million empire of four homes as a 'racist and sexist' attack by the 'right-wing media' in an interview with Marc Lamont Hill for Black News Tonight on Thursday (above)

Cullors described the scrutiny over her $3 million empire of four homes as a ‘racist and sexist’ attack by the ‘right-wing media’ in an interview with Marc Lamont Hill for Black News Tonight on Thursday (above)

Twitter BANS black reporter for criticizing BLM founder’s property empire

A prominent black sports journalist barred from Twitter for the ‘crime’ of discussing the $1.4 million house bought by a Black Lives Matter co-founder slammed the company for trying to silence legitimate debate. 

Jason Whitlock, 53, told DailyMail.com on Monday that Twitter was ‘going too far’ by blocking him from posting to his account, which has nearly 450,000 followers. 

‘BLM is one of Big Tech’s sacred cows,’ Whitlock told DailyMail.com. ‘I’ve been harping on the fraudulence and the financial grift of BLM for years.’

‘I think Twitter has been looking for an excuse to de-platform me,’ he said. 

Whitlock said Twitter was trying to silence him for asking questions about BLM’s finances.  

Whitlock had tweeted his response to the news of Cullors’s $1.4 million property purchase, including a link to celebrity real estate website The Dirt.

‘Black Lives Matter founder buys $1.4 million home in Topanga, which has a black population of 1.4 percent. She’s with her people!,’ Whitlock tweeted

His account was suspended.  

‘I have a child, I have a brother who has a severe mental illness that I take care of, I support my mother, I support many other family members of mine and so I see my money as not my own. I see it as my family’s money, as well.’ 

Cullors said the scrutiny on her homes and finances was an attempt to discredit both her and the work of BLM. 

‘The whole point of these articles and these attacks against me are to discredit me, but also to discredit the movement,’ she said.

‘We have to stay focused on white supremacy,’ she added as she urged people to ‘see through the right-wing lies.’   

Cullors became emotional as she told how the sharing of information about her homes had made her more of a target to white supremacists and right-wing extremists. 

‘I spent the last week with security and these articles have shown the homes that I live in and that my family lives in,’ she said as she choked back tears.

‘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.’ 

Cullors also addressed criticism over how BLM funds had been spent after the organization took in $90 million in donations last year.  

‘The minute we started to receive [large sums of] funding I looked at my team and said we have to get these dollars out the door now,’ she said.

‘Now that Black Lives Matter has money, we have to be a grantmaking body as well as a think tank, act tank.

‘And so much of the work that BLM specifically has done has been reinvesting into the black community.’

Cullors said, among other things, $3 million had been given to 1,000 black people across the country through a newly-launched survival fund and $27 million to black-led organizations.

‘That is a quarter of our budget going back into the community and also we have to build an organization,’ she said.

‘It’s the first time we’ve ever had real dollars and we have to build a black institution that can challenge policing, that can take care of the black community.’

Black Lives Matter posted a statement about the 'false and dangerous story' on Tuesday saying Cullors had not been paid by BLM since 2019

Black Lives Matter posted a statement about the ‘false and dangerous story’ on Tuesday saying Cullors had not been paid by BLM since 2019 

However, she also said the organization is not a ‘charity’ after some activists including the father of slain black man Michael Brown said they had been short-changed and demanded $20 million from the BLM Global Network Foundation.  

‘I do understand why people expect that from us,’ she said. 

‘But I think it’s important that people recognize there are other places they can also get grants. There are other places they can also get resources. 

‘And, most importantly, our target should be the United States government. Our target should be calling on Congress to pass reparations.’  

It emerged last week that Cullors had bought a $1.4 million home in the largely white district of Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles.

In the zip code, 88 per cent of residents are white and 1.8 per cent black, according to the census.   

The New York Post reported that Cullors has also bought three other homes since 2016 at a total cost of around $3 million.

This includes a $415,000 ‘custom ranch’ on 3.2 acres in Conyers, Georgia, with its own pool and airplane hangar.

The $1.4 million home Patrisse Cullors purchased in the Topanga Canyon area of Los Angeles

The $1.4 million home Patrisse Cullors purchased in the Topanga Canyon area of Los Angeles 

The light-filled and airy home is just 20 miles from where she grew up, but a world away in style

The light-filled and airy home is just 20 miles from where she grew up, but a world away in style

Cullors' new home has high ceilings and a sliding door leading out to the tree-filled yard

Cullors’ new home has high ceilings and a sliding door leading out to the tree-filled yard

Additionally, the publication says property records show Cullors has also bought two other Los Angeles homes including a three-bedroom home in Inglewood for $510,000 and four-bedroom home in South LA for $590,000.

It was also claimed by the Post that Cullors was ‘eyeing property at the ultra-exclusive Albany resort outside Nassau in the Bahamas where Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods have homes.’  

The Post said it was not clear how much Cullors was paid by BLM, which took in more than $90 million in donations last year amid the nationwide reckoning calling for racial justice in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.  

The news sparked anger with Hawk Newsome, the head of Black Lives Matter Greater New York City, calling for a probe into Cullors’ finances. 

Others accused her of hypocrisy given her public position as a self-described Marxist.   

On Tuesday the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, of which Cullors is a director, issued a statement saying it had not paid toward her homes and revealing that she had not been paid by BLM since 2019.  

They said Cullors has been paid a total of $120,000 since the organization was founded in 2013, and said she was compensated ‘for duties such as serving as spokesperson and engaging in political education work.’ 

Cullors has become one of the most high-profile campaigners in the US since founding BLM in 2013, with a best-selling memoir, a follow-up on the way, a deal with Warner Bros to produce content, and regularly being paid for speaking engagements.  

Her 2018 memoir was a best-seller and her follow-up Abolition is out in October.

She also works as a professor of Social and Environmental Arts at Arizona’s Prescott College.

Cullors set up BLM with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi back in 2013

She said she has 'spent the last week with security' after her homes were first pictured in the media

Cullors set up BLM with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi back in 2013. She said she has ‘spent the last week with security’ after her homes were first pictured in the media

In October, she signed a multi-year deal with Warner Bros to develop and produce original programming across all platforms, including broadcast, cable and streaming.

This week, Twitter suspended sports writer Jason Whitlock for sharing a story about her homes saying he “violated the Twitter Rules.”

‘Black Lives Matter founder buys $1.4 million home in Topanga, which has a black population of 1.4 percent. She’s with her people!,’ Whitlock tweeted, before his account was suspended. 

On Thursday, Facebook also stopped users from sharing articles by DailyMail.com and the New York Post about Cullors’ homes.

Users that wanted to share links to the DailyMail.com were met with a message that said it ‘couldn’t be shared.’ 

‘This content was removed for violating our privacy and personal information policy,’  a Facebook spokesperson told DailyMail.com.  

BLM was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old black man Trayvon Martin. 

Cullors’ co-founders have left, and last summer Cullors assumed leadership of the Black Lives Matter Global Network – the national group that oversees the local chapters of the loosely-arranged movement.

Cullors’ move has not been universally welcomed, Politico reported in October.

Local organizers told Politico they saw little or no money and were forced to crowdfund to stay afloat. Some organizers say they were barely able to afford gas or housing. 

BLM’s Global Network filters its donations through a group called Thousand Currents, Insider reported in June – which made it even more complicated to trace the cash. 

Solome Lemma, executive director of Thousand Currents, told the site: ‘Donations to BLM are restricted donations to support the activities of BLM.’  

Facebook censors DailyMail.com story on BLM co-founder’s multi-million dollar LA property empire 

Facebook has stopped users from sharing articles by DailyMail.com about a BLM founder Patrisse Cullors’ multi-million dollar property empire while users were allowed to share it from other outlets.

Users that wanted to share links to the DailyMail.com were met with a message that said it ‘couldn’t be shared.’ 

‘This content was removed for violating our privacy and personal information policy,’  a Facebook spokesperson told DailyMail.com.

However, other outlets, such as Black Enterprise, a media company that covers black-owned businesses, was allowed to be shared by Facebook users.  

An error message shows that the DailyMail.com article cannot be shared on Facebook

An error message shows that the DailyMail.com article cannot be shared on Facebook

Readers of the NY Post on Facebook were also blocked from sharing a story about Cullors’ multi-million-dollar property holdings. 

The Facebook spokesperson claimed that the article ‘shared multiple details which could identify the residence of one of the BLM founders, in violation of her privacy rights.

‘As per our Community Standards: We do not allow people to post personal or confidential information about yourself or of others,’ the spokesperson said.

‘We remove content that shares, offers or solicits personally identifiable information or other private information that could lead to physical or financial harm, including financial, residential, and medical information, as well as private information obtained from illegal sources.’

The social media giant noted: ‘We also provide people ways to report imagery that they believe to be in violation of their privacy rights.’

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