Written with contribution from Sheriff David Clarke
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
On Monday, ten local Black Lives Matter chapters issued a statement in which they accused the national arm of the organization of providing “little to no financial support” despite the millions of dollars the org has raked in over the past five years.
Washington DC, Chicago, and Philadelphia were among the 10 chapters to issue the statement. According to these chapters, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has not provided adequate transparency when it comes to the “unknown millions of dollars” it has taken in since 2015.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network has reportedly spent $4.5 million in consultants, travel and compensation for its staff over the course of two years between July 2017 and June 2019.
Over the same course of time, the organization has provided just a scant $328,000 to outside groups such as local autonomous BLM chapters.
In June, former BLM Global Network Managing Director Kailee Scales said that the figures from its fiscal sponsor’s financial statements “do not reflect, for example, the in kind support for chapters and fundraising directed to chapters and programmatic assistance to chapters.”
“That work was carried out by employees and consultants to BLM,” Scales said.
However, the local BLM chapters said in their statement that “most chapters have received little to no financial support from BLMGN since the launch in 2013.”
“For years there has been inquiry regarding the financial operations of BLMGN and no acceptable process of either public or internal transparency about the unknown millions of dollars donated to BLMGN, which has certainly increased during this time of pandemic and rebellion,” the statement said.
Despite millions being donated to the network, local chapters have lacked support & resources from national leadership. As a result, much of our local community work continues to be erased. #BlackLivesMatter #BLM10 pic.twitter.com/JdbJOP53op
— Black Lives Matter DC (@DMVBlackLives) November 30, 2020
The BLM Global Network had brought in $1.1 million by mid-June of this year following the previous month’s high-profile death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis and subsequent widespread protests and flurry of woke corporate donations and “initiatives.”
At this point, BLMGN announced they would be starting a $6.5 million fund for the support of its local chapters.
According to the Monday statement, however, only “selected chapters” were invited to apply for that fund money which the BLM Global Network said would be distributed in grant amounts of up to $500,000.
The financial issues weren’t the only complaints in the statement. It also charged that co-founder and sole board member Patrisse Khan-Cullors “became Executive Director against the will of most chapters and without their knowledge.”
Third world strongman dictators come to power like this. Idi Amin would be proud of Kahn-Collors. If these complainers get too uppity, she’ll send in enforcers to get them back in line and pipe down.
There is also a disconnect between the local chapter organizers and the BLM Global Network. Chapter organizers say they have not been permitted to establish “financial transparency” partake in “collective decision making” or engage in “collaboration on political analysis and vision,” within the BLMGN.
“We understand that these issues are not new and that some chapters left, were not acknowledged, or were pushed out of network with the community of chapters because of them,” the statement read.
It seems as though the money flows to the BLM Global Network while the actual work is expected to be done by the foot soldiers of the local chapters. Drug cartels operate the same way. The local chapters are nothing more than mules.
In early June, BLM co-founder, Opal Tometi, told The New Yorker that the local BLM chapters “are the ones leading” the movement.
“It has always been somewhat decentralized,” Tometi said. “We have tried various structures, but we have always said the power goes on in the local chapter because they know what is going on, and they are the ones familiar with the terrain.”
In their statement, the local chapters urge their supporters to “donate directly to chapters, who represent the frontline of Black Lives matter.”
This infighting here is precious. Like anything else in life, it’s always about the money.