A shocking story went under the radar last week.
Both Andrew Kerr of the Washington Examiner and Sean Campbell of New York magazine reported on the lack of leadership and transparency within the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. At present, the organization does not seem to have a functioning board of directors, with the two women BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors appointed to take her place after her resignation stating they never actually took the positions due to disagreements with the organization. The address listed on BLMGNF’s tax forms is fraudulent, with an unidentified spokesperson for the nonprofit stating that the organization does not maintain a permanent office. Speaking of tax forms, BLMGNF does not seem to have filed a Form 990 for the 2020 tax year, and the expenditure number the organization reported to the public in February 2021 is $4.3 million less than the number it reported to the IRS in August 2020.
The real bombshell, however, is who has control of the organization's bank account. That remains a mystery –- the two remaining board members will not answer that question publicly and the women chosen by Cullors, Makani Themba and Monifa Bandele, state that since they never took their positions they have no knowledge of who controls the finances for BLMGNF.
How much money is at stake here? According to the organization’s February 2021 disclosure statement, it closed 2020 with $60 million in its bank accounts.
To recap –- the nation’s premier social justice organization does not have a functioning board of directors, nor an office, and $60 million that nobody is willing to say who is in control of. According to BLMGNF’s bylaws, the executive director has control of all funds related to the corporation but it seems it has not had anyone in that role since Cullors left.
Since the reports of the dysfunction within the organization were published, BLMGNF has suspended all online fundraising. Both California and Washington ordered the organization to cease fundraising in their states, and the organization’s charity registration is out of compliance in several other states.
And if this is the first you’re hearing of any of this, you’re not alone.
If this story was about any other nonprofit, it would be an ongoing national news story. But it’s not about any other nonprofit, it’s about BLMGNF. That both the Washington Examiner and New York magazine ran pieces on this story within days of each other leads me to believe that someone approached these (and I would assume other) media outlets or that the situation within BLMGNF was well known enough to be investigated by two different outlets. Yet no other outlets took on the story, and it certainly hasn’t gained the traction it should.
I get it, media outlets are scared to touch certain stories. The controversy, the attacks, and the headaches from dealing with both staffers and readers aren’t worth it to them. That’s not how outlets should be choosing what stories they do and do not pursue though, and this is a huge story no matter what your views on BLMGNF are. No organization should be seen as above investigation simply because it can whip up an online mob or hurl accusations of racism or sexism as it did toward Campbell, himself a black man.
A newsworthy story is a newsworthy story, even if it does not fit a certain narrative or would anger the wrong group of people.
I wrote something about this a couple years ago. The problem ultimately is that there is no Black Lives Matter organization as such.
There are entities using the name, and there has been a great deal of fundraising by various sharpers in search for pelf, but it is all a black hole. No one knows where it really goes, but I have my suspicions.
"Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket." — Eric Hoffer