Amid scrutiny and controversy over the co-founder of Black Lives Matter reportedly having purchased four homes for $3.2 million — including a $1.4 million property in overwhelmingly white Topanga Canyon, California — "trained Marxist" Patrisse Khan-Cullors said in an interview that she's investing her money in her "family members."
What are the details?
Commentator and activist Marc Lamont Hill interviewed Khan-Cullors for "Black News Tonight" and asked about the problematic optics, specifically from the perspective of "the left."
"If you are a trained Marxist, if we're talking about a certain kind of radical politic, that extravagant homes of any sort, or multiple properties of any sort, is itself contradictory to the ideology that you hold," Hill said. "And so it's not about having money per se ... or about property per se, but it's about being a potential contradiction between your expressed politics and your lived practice."
Khan-Cullors called such a critique "wanting" and asserted that "the way that I live my life is a direct support of black people, including my black family members, first and foremost."
She added that many black people who can "invest" choose to do so with their families, "and that's what I have chosen to do. I have a child, I have a brother that has severe mental illness that I take care of, I support my mother, and I support many other family members of mine. And so I see my money as not my own; I see it as my family's money as well."
Activist Patrisse Cullors Talks Criticisms Surrounding Black Lives Matter Network Foundation: Pt. 1 youtu.be
She also noted in the interview the homes she's purchased are specifically for family members.
Khan-Cullors also dismissed accusations that she's taken money from BLM for such purchases, and the BNC News video description indicated she said "her money comes from other various sources but believes that activists should get paid a living wage for their work." Yet the Marxist also asserted that capitalism is harmful to the black community.
Black Lives Matter — which raked in more than $90 million in 2020 alone — has come to Khan-Cullors' defense, saying earlier this week that recent criticism of her is a "right-wing offensive" that "continues a tradition of terror by white supremacists." BLM added that she's a "volunteer" and does not take a salary, having earned only $120,000 through her work there "for duties such as serving as spokesperson and engaging in political education work."
How did folks react to the interview?
Some Twitter observers responding to the segment during which Khan-Cullors said her money is for her family members weren't terribly sympathetic.
"I gotta hand it to Patrisse Cullors, 'my aim is to help Black people, and I am Black, so I decided the person I'd focus on helping is myself' is an impressive defense of being a Marxist while getting rich off of BLM," Noam Blum of Tablet declared.
Others echoed the sentiment:
- "It's important to invest in the black community...buys house in majority white neighborhood, OK Patrisse," one user quipped.
- I have to admire the honesty at least," one commenter noted. "I think it speaks to how much control this organization has over it's pawns that they aren't afraid in the slightest to say things like that."
- "Marxists are just temporary under the radar elitists," another user said. "Seriously. They're all obsessed with power because they resent not having it all. It's really that simple."
- "The irony is that self-interest is exactly in-line with Marxist reality," another commenter observed.
On the heels of the Khan-Cullors controversy, Hawk Newsome — leader of Black Lives Matter Greater New York City — said there should be an "independent investigation" into Black Lives Matter and its finances.
And conservative black journalist Jason Whitlock said he was suspended from Twitter after criticizing Khan-Cullors and her most recent real estate purchase.
"Black Lives Matter founder buys $1.4 million home in Topanga, which has a black population of 1.4 percent," Whitlock tweeted last Friday. "She's with her people!"