Mothers of the people frequently used by Black Lives Matter in protests and fundraising are speaking out against the organization and its co-founder Patrisse Cullors after she announced she would be stepping down, the New York Post reports.
Amidst backlash to her $3.2 million home buying spree, Cullors, the executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, announced Thursday that she was leaving the group. Cullors said the departure had been in the works for the last year and wasn’t connected to what she called "right wing attacks that tried to discredit my character."
"I don’t believe she is going anywhere," Samaria Rice told the New York Post. Rice is the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was shot by Cleveland police back in 2014 while playing with a toy gun. "It’s all a facade. She’s only saying that to get the heat off her right now."
"Now she doesn’t have to show her accountability," said Lisa Simpson, who's son, Richard Risher, was killed by police in 2016. "She can just take the money and run."
Rice had first contacted Cullors for assistance in re-opening a federal investigation into the killing of her son in 2014. She told the post that her and Cullors had exchanged a few emails over the years, but never met face to face. "They are benefiting off the blood of our loved ones, and they won’t even talk to us,” said Rice.
Rice joined forces with Simpson back in March to come out against BLM, with Simpson stating that BLM was "raising money in our dead sons’ names and giving us nothing in return."
The Los Angeles chapter of BLM allegedly raised $5,000 for Risher’s finer, but Simpson said she never received the money.
"We never hired them to be the representatives in the fight for justice for our dead loved ones murdered by the police,” said the statement by Rice and Simpson posted March 16 by activist @Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, in which the pair called for Cullors to step down. "The 'activists' have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones’ images and names on their flyers. We don’t want or need y’all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken."
Tamika Palmer, them mother of Breonna Taylor who was killed by Louisville police last year, commented on how BLM had failed her as well. "I have never personally dealt with BLM Louisville and personally have found them to be fraud," Palmer wrote in an April 14 Facebook post that has since been deleted.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network came under fire from its own members last year, with an open letter from 10 local BLM chapters calling out the organization for a "lack of accountability and transparency."
"To the best of our knowledge, most chapters have received little to no financial support from BLMGN since the launch in 2013," said the chapters.
BLM Global Network Foundation disclosed a few month follow the letter that it had raised $90 million in donations, sparking further questioning on where the funding was going.