by Eric Lendrum
New tax filings from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reveal that the official Black Lives Matter organization ended the last fiscal year with at least $42 million in assets.
According to the Associated Press, the 63-page Form 990 shows that Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. peaked with over $90 million in donations in 2020, amid race riots that destroyed cities all across the country, which were largely orchestrated and led by BLM. Of that $90 million, the organization invested at least $32 million in stocks.
At the conclusion of the last fiscal year, from July of 2020 to June of 2021, the organization reported $42 million in assets, with an operating budget of just $4 million. Of those earnings, $6 million was spent on a luxurious mansion in Los Angeles, California, which included six bedrooms and bathrooms, a swimming pool, and a soundstage.
This is the first major financial disclosure by BLM since it was incorporated in 2017. The organization previously operated under the sponsorship of a charity, and thus was not required to disclose its finances until December 2020, when it became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Despite the massive reported revenue, the organization still has a minimalistic leadership structure, with no executive director or in-house staff.
The relatively small and consolidated leadership, combined with the reports of massive earnings and conspicuous expenditures such as the L.A. mansion, have led to allegations of financial misconduct by the group’s leaders, particularly by co-founder Patrisse Cullors. Cullors, along with her wife Janaya Khan, has spent over $3 million buying three different luxury homes across the country since 2016.
Cullors has since been accused by other BLM activists of maintaining a centralized leadership structure for her own benefit. YahNe Ndgo, a Philadelphia-based activist, said that “when resources came in, when opportunities came in, (the foundation) alone would be the ones to decide who was going to take advantage of them, without having to take any consideration of the other organizers whose work was giving them the access to these resources and opportunities in the first place.”
Both the slogan “Black Lives Matter” and the official organization were created in 2013, after George Zimmerman was acquitted of shooting Trayvon Martin in an act that was determined to be self-defense. The group was founded by Cullors, along with Alicia Garza and Ayo Tometi; in the years since then, both Garza and Tometi have left, fueling further speculation of internal disputes.
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Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.
Photo “Black Lives Matter” by Anthony Quintano. CC BY 2.0.