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Patrisse Cullors steps down from BLM foundation, claims criticism had nothing to do with it

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Patrisse Cullors is the BLM co-founder who recently made news for here home buying spree. As Ed pointed out at the time, the real significance of that story was two-fold. First, it seemed to be at odds with Cullors own professed Marxism, marking her as a hypocrite. Her attempt to square that circle a few days later didn’t work out very well either. In any case, the second point of the original home buying story was that there were people within BLM calling for an investigation of how the organization was spending its money. Jump forward about six weeks and Cullors is now stepping down from her position with the organization but claiming the criticism of her had nothing to do with it:

“I’ve created the infrastructure and the support, and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave,” Cullors told The Associated Press. “It feels like the time is right.”…

The 37-year-old activist said her resignation has been in the works for more than a year and has nothing to do with the personal attacks she has faced from far-right groups or any dissension within the movement.

“Those were right-wing attacks that tried to discredit my character, and I don’t operate off of what the right thinks about me,” Cullors said.

Obviously, the only issue of character here is the one Cullors herself raised by first associating herself with Marxism and then choosing to buy several homes worth several million dollars. Lots of people can see the discontinuity even if Cullors wants to pretend it doesn’t exist.

But naturally the AP’s reporting on why Cullors was criticized by the right leaves out the whole issue of her Marxism. That word doesn’t appear in the piece. It does at least mention that there has been criticism of BLM’s spending.

The BLM foundation revealed to the AP in February that it took in just over $90 million last year, following the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, a Black man whose last breaths under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer inspired protests globally. The foundation said it ended 2020 with a balance of more than $60 million, after spending nearly a quarter of its assets on operating expenses, grants to Black-led organizations and other charitable giving.

Critics of the foundation contend more of that money should have gone to the families of Black victims of police brutality who have been unable to access the resources needed to deal with their trauma and loss…

“I know some of (the families) are feeling exploited, their pain exploited, and that’s not something that I ever want to be affiliated with,” [BLM chapter president Rev. T. Sheri] Dickerson said.

But it’s certainly true that Cullors has other reasons to move on. She has a new book coming out and a TV production deal with Warner Bros. In short, she’s going to be busy making real money as a producer. I don’t blame her for moving on to a better gig which will likely increase her income significantly, but then I’m not a Marxist.