“The booty is enormous!”
So savored Leon Trotsky, rubbing his covetous hands and salivating at the Russian Orthodox Church’s cache of “fabulous treasures.” He and Vladimir Lenin greedily eyed up the gems.
Lenin was furious when the Church wouldn’t give him and his minions its valuables. He instructed Trotsky and the Politburo to make sure that all churches were “cleansed.” By November 1922, the mass heist from the churches included 828,275 pounds of silver; 1,220 pounds of gold; 35,670 diamonds; and much, much more. Lenin grinned impishly at the “hundreds of millions” of rubles before him.
Communism paid off handsomely for the comrades. They took whatever they could get their gluttonous hands on. The Party apparatchiks lined their pockets and grabbed properties from Moscow to the Black Sea. Vladimir Putin, trained by the KGB, knows the gig. When not killing Ukrainian men, women, and children, he’s floating on his $700 million mega-yacht moored off the coast of Italy, where he wines and dines with “crazy rich Russian” oligarchs.
This was and is Marxist greed. It’s endemic to Marxists. They bitterly complain about wealth, capital, and property, but that’s obviously a mere projection of their own private feelings. As soon as they seize power, they greedily reward themselves and then attack anyone who criticizes their avarice.
I thought about this when reading the latest report of abuses by the self-identified Marxist founder of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors. I’ve written about Cullors’s multiple purchases of expensive properties and her undisclosed financial disclosures. The current leadership of BLM remains furious with Cullors and has demanded investigations and even ousted her as executive director of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
I wrote about Cullors’s growing accumulation of cash in the fall 2021 print edition of The American Spectator. The New York Post has been hot on that trail, laying out in detail (with photos) the new homes grabbed by Cullors and her wife in the last few years — “a real estate buying binge, snagging four high-end homes for $3.2 million in the US alone.” Cullors and her wife also had their eyes on a posh Bahamas beachfront resort, where their neighbors would be Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods. Not exactly the Proletariat.
The current leadership of BLM remains furious with Cullors and has demanded investigations.
The attention and outrage prompted Cullors to blast those raising concerns as (big surprise) “racist and sexist.” She insists, “The fact that the right-wing media is trying to create hysteria around my spending is, frankly, racist and sexist.”
In the meantime, the buying binge continues. Soon after those revelations in the Post, reports followed of another cushy property grab by BLM, in Toronto. Here again, Cullors’s wife, Janaya Khan, was part of the deal — and this one literally involved the Communist Party (yep, you can’t make that up). “Black Lives Matter transferred millions to a Canadian charity run by the wife of its co-founder to purchase a sprawling mansion that had once served as the headquarters of the Communist Party,” reported the New York Post in January. “M4BJ, a Toronto-based non-profit set up by Janaya Khan and other Canadian activists, snagged the 10,000 square foot historic property for the equivalent of $6.3 million in cash in July 2021.”
And remember, Patrisse Cullors and her BLM co-founder are proud Marxists. “We are trained Marxists,” says Cullors of herself and Alicia Garza. “We are super-versed [in] ideological theories.”
They are also super-versed in properties. When Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels asserted in their Manifesto that “the entire communist theory may be summed in a single sentence: abolition of private property,” Cullors and Garza evidently scoffed. Actually, like most Marxists, they applied the rule not to themselves but to the masses. Marxism, you see, is for the ruled, not the rulers. Name the Marxist leader, from Castro to Ceaușescu, from Gus Hall to Xi Jinping to the Kims. None of them accept anything but riches for themselves.
Well, now there’s yet another BLM mega-property that we’re learning about, courtesy of an excellent article in New York Magazine, i.e., a sympathetic, liberal source. Titled, “Black Lives Matter Secretly Bought a $6 Million House,” with the subtitle, “Allies and critics alike have questioned where the organization’s money has gone,” it’s a stunning expose. The piece opens:
On a sunny day late last spring, three leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement — Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Melina Abdullah — sat around a table on the patio of an expensive house in Southern California. The women were recording a YouTube video to mark the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, and they discussed their racial-justice work and the difficulties they had faced over the year.
“For me, the hardest moments have been the right-wing-media machine just leveraging literally all its weight against me, against our movement, against BLM the organization,” Cullors said. “I’m some weeks out now from a lot of the noise, so I have more perspective, right? While I was in it, I was in survival mode.”
Cullors, in her claims of struggle for very “survival,” was referring to the April 2021 article in the New York Post that revealed her purchase of four homes. Those disclosures, conceded New York Magazine, revealed “a disturbing gap between the fortunes of the movement’s most visible figures and on-the-ground activists across the country.” Cullors and friends spoke of their persecution as they sipped wine on the patio (click here for photos) of a 7,400-square-foot mansion. The article quoted Melina Abdullah and Alicia Garza, the other two legs of the BLM troika:
“I think they’ve attempted to cancel us, but they have not been successful in canceling us,” Abdullah said at another point in the conversation. “They’ve attempted to say — and I’m just gonna say it — ‘She bought some damn houses. We gonna cancel her.’” Garza cut in with a comment seemingly addressed to critics: “Y’all don’t know shit about what it takes to live in a box here.”
None of the women acknowledged the house behind them. It’s far from a box, with more than 6,500 square feet [the Post says 7,400 square feet], more than half a dozen bedrooms and bathrooms, several fireplaces, a soundstage, a pool and bungalow, and parking for more than 20 cars, according to real-estate listings. The California property was purchased for nearly $6 million in cash in October 2020 with money that had been donated to BLMGNF.
The transaction has not been previously reported, and Black Lives Matter’s leadership had hoped to keep the house’s existence a secret.
No doubt. As for critics, the troika has a few words for those who dare to object. Look at Abdullah’s response:
In the patio video marking the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, the conversation among Cullors, Garza, and Abdullah turned to the people who have faulted their leadership online. “Who the fuck are you? You ain’t done shit,” Abdullah said. Garza added that she discounted criticism from people she didn’t know personally. “I don’t need to be accountable to you,” she said.
Vladimir Lenin snapped at his critics, “Let them howl!”
Well, howling the critics are, and rightly so, because these BLM women have egregiously abused the money entrusted to them by all those donors — many of them “social justice” white women thinking they were writing to checks to help end, say, police abuse. And yet these BLM founders are defiant. There is no contrition.
One can see why so many BLM staffers are upset about this.
“It’s really sad because it makes people doubt the validity of the movement,” laments Hawk Newsome, head of Black Lives Matter Greater New York City, which last year called for “an independent investigation” of Cullors. “We need black firms and black accountants to go in there and find out where the money is going.”
The New York Magazine piece notes that among those most concerned are, of course, people that BLM is supposed to help with all the money raised:
Tory Russell, a prominent activist in Ferguson, Missouri, said that he felt depressed when he learned about the California property. “It’s a waste of resources,” he said. While Black Lives Matter at the national level is flush, he’s seen local activists fall into poverty and become homeless. Last year, Russell put out a video with Michael Brown Sr., whose son was killed by a police officer in August 2014, demanding money from BLMGNF to help people living in Ferguson, and he’s since been struggling to raise $1.2 million for a community center. “They shouldn’t be walking around no Black people, no Black communities,” he said of the organization’s leaders. “They should be somewhere in shame.”
Just how bad is the waste, abuse, and mismanagement?
Black Lives Matter has raised a staggering amount of money — so much so that no one, internally and externally, really knows. The Associated Press (not exactly a right-wing outfit) tried to get a handle on the figures, reporting in an exclusive investigation last year that BLM raised a jaw-dropping $90 million in 2020 alone.
The New York Magazine piece, one of the most careful journalistic investigations to date, includes shocking figures:
George Floyd’s death triggered an outpouring of contributions to BLMGNF, and in October 2020, the organization received an infusion of $66.5 million from its fiscal sponsor — an intermediary commonly used by fledgling nonprofits to process donations. Two weeks later, a man named Dyane Pascall purchased the seven-bedroom house that would become known as Campus. According to California business-registration documents, Pascall is the financial manager for Janaya and Patrisse Consulting, an LLC run by Cullors and her spouse, Janaya Khan; Pascall is also the chief financial officer for Trap Heals, a nonprofit led by Damon Turner, the father of Cullors’s only child….
The group [BLMGNF] informally released a batch of financial information in February 2021, when it said it had taken in more than $90 million in 2020 and still had $60 million on hand. The house was not mentioned. Soon after the report, local activists went public with complaints that they felt unsupported by BLMGNF despite their pleas for help. Two mothers who lost their sons to police violence demanded the organization stop using their names to raise funds.
Again, an egregious abuse of trust. But as many of us warned, this organization was founded by Marxists. Long before any of us knew about the Marxist mansions, we expressed our shock at the Marxist language at BLM’s notorious “What We Believe” section of its website. The founders’ Marxist views shaped their organization’s disturbing positions on family, marriage, gender, money — all far beyond matters like George Floyd. The Marxist rhetoric once scrubbed from BLM’s website has not stopped. Still prominent at the website are its Christmas 2021 denunciations of “white supremacist capitalism” and its curious assertion that “capitalism doesn’t love Black people.” (READ MORE from Paul Kengor: BLM’s (Reverse) Marxist Makeover)
Of course, it looks like BLM’s founders love capitalism. But actually, they’re representing Marxism. Again, this is what Marxists do. They behave like this.
As I’ve said from the outset, if you want to fight racism, there are many organizations and means to do so. The NAACP has been doing it for over a hundred years. If you want to teach about racial discrimination, look to Martin Luther King, Jr., not Karl Marx, who, incidentally, was a real racist.
Putting money behind BLM founder Patrisse Cullors has been an exercise in filling her personal pocketbook.