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Black Lives Matter and the $6 million luxury mansion

Leaders at the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement’s largest organization have used $6million (£4.5million) in donations to buy a California mansion, an investigation has found.

Accordingly New York MagazineThe 6,500-square-foot property was purchased “in cash” in October 2020 with money donated to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF).

“The nonprofit’s leadership had hoped to keep the house’s existence a secret,” wrote investigative journalist Sean Campbell. An “internal strategy memo” reportedly circulated after Campbell began asking questions is said to include questions about whether “we end the story” and suggestions that “our angle” should be ” to vacate the ownership of the property”.

The reproach

Often referred to as just “Black Lives Matter,” BLMGN isn’t the only organization within the loosely affiliated US-based social movement.

2020, Politically reported that “ten local chapters” of the BLM movement were “cutting ties” with the BLMGN. The groups are “angry” that the foundation’s co-founder Patrisse Cullors has “taken on the role of executive director” and is “making decisions without her input,” the news site said.

In his reveal in New York Magazine, Campbell claimed that the luxury California mansion was bought by the financial manager of Janaya and Patrisse Consulting, a company run by Cullors and her wife Janaya Khan.

Dyane Pascall reportedly bought the property two weeks after BLMGNF received $66.5million (£50.4million) in donations in “a spate of contributions” following the killing of George Floyd former police officer Derek Chauvin.

Within days, Pascall “transferred ownership of the home to a Delaware-based LLC,” a “manoeuvre” that ensured “the ultimate identity of the property’s new owner was not revealed to the public,” Campbell wrote. An LLC – or limited liability company – does not require the owners or managers to identify themselves.

Documents related to the sale suggest “it was handled in a manner that blurs or transcends the lines between the charity and private companies owned by some of its leaders,” Campbell continued.

Shortly after the transfer of ownership, BLMGNF chiefs “began to use the house in a variety of ways, including as a video recording set and for sleeping over when they didn’t feel safe in their own homes.”

Property listings show that the mansion — known within the foundation as the campus — has “more than a half-dozen bedrooms and bathrooms, multiple fireplaces, a soundstage, pool and bungalow, and parking for more than 20 cars,” Campbell added.

In an email statement to New York Magazine on April 1, BLMGNF board member Shalomyah Bowers said the organization had purchased land “with the intent that it will serve as living and studio space for Black Joy Creators Fellowship recipients.” .

The grant was “announced the next morning,” Campbell said.

The Villa

The renovated 1930s “farmhouse” features “a custom wrought-iron staircase, marble-lined bathrooms, recessed lighting, digital cameras and thermostats.” New York Post reported.

The property also includes “a private garden with an elaborate play set and chicken coop” and “a sound stage, music studio, pool and two-bedroom guest house,” the paper said. A listing for the property allegedly stated that “Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart were some A-listers who stayed at this property as guests.”

However, the exact location of the “opulent” property is “unclear,” he said Daily Mail“because it hides behind an LLC purchase”.

The answer

The land purchase dispute has triggered a flood of criticism of BLMGNF. Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell questioned what the organization had accomplished to benefit black Americans while its leaders lived like “the rich and famous.”

Terrell tells FoxNews that Floyd’s death had been exploited for profit, adding, “It’s basically blood money. It’s disgusting and it’s embarrassing.”

Missouri-based activist Tory Russell told New York Magazine that the foundation’s bosses should “live in disgrace.” The mansion was “a waste of resources,” said Russell, who added that he’d seen some local activists facing poverty and even homelessness.

Activist Ashley Yates, also based in Missouri tweeted that she’s “had an insecure apartment for YEARS while people who have built careers out of my work and those of others buy villa after villa”.

“If blacks had any protection, we would fall back on vultures like the women who control ‘BLM,'” Yates added.

Even if buying a California mansion wasn’t “illegal or even unethical,” it could be “unstrategic,” said Jacob Harold, co-founder of information service Candid, an organization that tracks spending in the charity sector.

Harold told New York Magazine that there were still questions as to why the BLMGNF didn’t spend the money on policies or “other strategies an organization could take to address the core issues surrounding Black Lives Matter.”

Of course, the “lack of transparency and potential inappropriateness of a highly visible and deeply divisive nonprofit is not a good sight at all,” he said Los Angeles Magazine. The foundation “provided fodder for right-wing talking heads Denigration of the organization and movement“.

And the mansion series isn’t the first time BLMGNF has faced intense scrutiny of its financial management.

In April last year, the New York Post reported that co-founder Cullors had spent a total of $3.2million (£2.4million) buying three “high-end US homes” in the LA area and another near Atlanta in Georgia.

Cullors sold the Atlanta property months later and resigned from the organization in May 2021.

https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/956343/black-lives-matter-6-million-luxury-mansion Black Lives Matter and the $6 million luxury mansion

Fry Electronics Team

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