A stunning report from New York Magazine last week revealed that the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation had bought a 6,500-square-foot mansion in southern California with cash in October 2020, following months of the civil unrest sparked by the murder of George Floyd.
GOP lawmakers have begun calling on the Justice Department to investigate the politically powerful nonprofit.
However, ABC, CBS and NBC have not addressed the brewing controversy on their morning or evening newscasts since the story broke last Wednesday, according to Grabien transcripts.
A woman holds a Black Lives Matter flag during an event in remembrance of George Floyd and to call for justice for those who lost loved ones to the police violence outside the Minnesota State Capitol on May 24, 2021 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
(Kerem Yucel / AFP)
Black Lives Matter defended its luxurious purchase in a lengthy Twitter thread.
“There have been a lot of questions surrounding recent reports about the purchase of Creator’s House in California,” Black Lives Matter’s official Twitter account posted. “Despite past efforts, BLMGNF recognizes that there is more work to do to increase transparency and ensure transitions in leadership are clear.”
In subsequent tweets, BLM called a flurry of reports looking into the group’s finances “inflammatory and speculative” and blamed them for “causing harm.” The reports “do not reflect the totality of the movement,” the organization claimed.
The organization continued to defend where some of their funds have been spent, citing $3 million to COVID relief, $25 million to Black-led organizations, as well as working to pass federal legislation against qualified immunity for police officers.
The series of tweets concluded with the group declaring they were “embracing this moment as an opportunity for accountability, healing, truth-telling, and transparency” and “working intentionally to rebuild trust.”
Notably, their account turned off replies to the tweets.
Black Lives Matter’s $6 mansion sits behind a gate.
(Courtesy of Office of Congressman Darrell Issa)
According to the report from New York Magazine, the property was referred to internally by BLM leadership as its “Campus.”
“Our angle — needs to be to deflate ownership of the property,” an internal BLM memo said, according to the report, after the New York Magazine reporter asked them about the house. That suggestion was one of several responses floated, with others including, “Can we kill the story?”
The same memo reportedly included bullet points about Campus, such as how it is used by the “cultural arm” of BLM, and could be used as an “influencer house” where artists can create content, and as a “safehouse.” The memo also reportedly acknowledged “[h]oles” in what it called the “security story,” as the house would be used for publicly available YouTube videos.
Two days after the reporter reached out to BLMGNF, board member Shalomyah Bowers emailed a statement claiming that BLMGNF purchased the property “with the intention for it to serve as housing and studio space for recipients of the Black Joy Creators Fellowship,” a program that was reportedly announced the next day as providing “recording resources and dedicated space for Black creatives to launch content online and in real life focused on abolition, healing justice, urban agriculture and food justice, pop culture, activism, and politics.”
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors under fire for using donations to purchase $6 million dollar mansion
(Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Viacom)
This isn’t the first time BLM has drawn scrutiny over its finances. In April 2021, the co-founder of the political movement, Patrisse Cullors drew attention for purchasing four homes for $3.2 million, according to a report by The New York Post. Critics noted Cullors previously described herself as a “trained Marxist.”
A month later, Cullors said she would step down from her role as executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
Days after this latest story, Cullors wrote an Instagram post denouncing the story as a racist and sexist attack on the organization.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Kristine Parks contributed to this report.