Black Lives Matter is being heavily criticized for buying a six million dollar mansion with donation money, with many people saying it’s wasting the money when there’s real people in need – except there are some people who don’t seem to have a problem with the lavish purchase. Even the co-founder has dismissed accusations of wrongdoing.
In 2020, when Kulia Petzoldt first learned of George Floyd’s death, she took her teenage daughter to protest alongside a mass of people demanding justice in Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.
Petzoldt, who is white, grew up around different cultures, and she said that having friends who were Black made her feel more conscious of the racial discrimination Black people faced. The Black Lives Matter movement solidified that awareness.
“We can’t just do nothing, and particularly those of us who are sort of protected by society,” Petzoldt said according to a report.
As people rallied behind eradicating racial inequality, Petzoldt and millions of others donated a cumulative $90 million, beyond protesting in 2020. Including a donation of $50 after reading that the foundation had purchased a $6 million mansion in Southern California, she said she donated a few hundred dollars to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation on various occasions. To Petzoldt, the purchase was a sign of stability, she said.
“I think that it’s a great sign that in addition to the public movement that a lot of us saw, that Black Lives Matter is investing in the long-term communication and influence within our society. which is much more likely to make change compared to protests,” she said.
Across the country, Petzoldt is one of many people trying to make sense of what has become a controversial decision BLM leaders made in October 2020 when they bought property in Southern California using organization funds.
During a roundtable meeting, Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Foundation Network, and Melina Abdullah, co-founder of BLM Los Angeles, dismissed accusations of wrongdoing.
They said that they had intended to share the news of the purchase but were just waiting until it became safe to do so, as the property is used as a safe haven from death threats.
However, many critics of BLM have called them out for wasting money on a lavish mansion when the money could’ve been used to help real people in need and not appear to fund a fancy lifestyle of people who are accused of taking donation money and wasting it on a mansion.