Patrisse Cullors, 2018.
Photo: CHRIS DELMAS / AFP / Getty Images
Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of “Black Lives Matter” (BLM), announced yesterday that today would be her last day as executive director of the national anti-racism movement, amid criticism for her lavish lifestyle.
Cullors, 37, who had headed the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation for nearly six years, said he is leaving to focus on a book and television contract. “I have created the infrastructure and the support, and the bones and the foundation, to be able to leave,” he said. “It seems the time is right.”
But his resignation occurs amid a controversy over the group’s finances and Cullors’ personal wealth, including an alleged real estate buying spree in which he seized four luxury homes for $ 3.2 million in the U.S., according to property records reported last month.
But Cullors said his departure has been in the works and is not linked to those “attacks.” “Those were attacks from the right that tried to discredit my character, and I do not operate with what the right thinks of me ”, he affirmed.
The BLM foundation revealed in February that it received slightly more than $ 90 million last year, following the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, a black man whose last breath fell on the knees of a white Minneapolis police officer inspired protests around the world.
The foundation said it ended 2020 with a favorable 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 donations.
Critics of the foundation argue that more of that money should have gone to the families of the black victims of police brutality who have not been able to access the resources necessary to deal with their trauma and loss.
“That’s the most tragic aspect,” said the Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, president of an Oklahoma City BLM chapter and representative of # BLM10, a national group of organizers who have publicly criticized the foundation for funding and transparency.
“I know that some of (the families) feel exploited, their pain (has) been exploited, and that is not something I want to be affiliated with,” said Dickerson.
Cullors and the foundation have said they support families without making public announcements or disclosing dollar amounts, the New York Post noted.
After almost 8 years, we say see you later to the last of our founders, Patrisse Cullors, who’s served BLM whole-heartedly. We reflect on the impact Patrisse had on BLM, & we are in deep gratitude.
Patrisse, we are in awe of you always. #ThankYouPatrisse 🌻🌻🌻 pic.twitter.com/MOWP38DYpT
– Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) May 27, 2021
Time for an Investigation. Where is the 90 million dollars !!! Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors resigns amid controversy https://t.co/5klmc6QplR via @nypost
– TheLeoTerrell (@TheLeoTerrell) May 27, 2021
@JohsieC The founders of the BLM movement, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, have publicly demonstrated a long connection to socialism and to Maduro personally. If Venezuela becomes free and democratic again, the US will have more LAW AND ORDER inside pic.twitter.com/ViyXS4Rnsj
– Enrique Alviarez (@EnriqueAlviarez) September 5, 2020