The Black Lives Matter movement has attracted criticism on multiple fronts over the past several years, but one of its co-founders continues to face backlash over her personal lifestyle.
In a statement this week, Patrisse Cullors announced that she was stepping down from her position in the organization amid allegations that her Marxist rhetoric did not match her lavish spending habits.
“The infrastructure and the support”
As she explained on Thursday, her abrupt resignation was set to take effect the next day.
“I’ve created the infrastructure and the support, and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave,” she stated. “It feels like the time is right.”
In a 2015 interview, Cullors characterized herself and other BLM leaders as “trained Marxists.”
Nevertheless, subsequent reports revealed that she has a taste for luxurious living. Last month, the New York Post indicated that Cullors purchased a $1.4 million home in California in Los Angeles County’s exclusive Topanga Canyon.
Furthermore, the area is overwhelmingly white, which might be seen as a curious choice given her frequent denouncement of “whiteness” as an inherent threat to Black Americans.
“Tried to discredit my character”
Nor is the Topanga Canyon property the only questionable property in the couple’s real estate portfolio, with Cullors having also purchased three other high-end homes in California and Georgia with a total value estimated at more than $3 million.
For her part, Cullors denied that her resignation was tied to the controversy, which she attempted to dismiss as a partisan attack, declaring: “Those were right-wing attacks that tried to discredit my character, and I don’t operate off of what the right thinks about me.”
Not all of the objections have come from conservatives, however. Hawk Newsome, who leads Black Lives Matter Greater New York, has called for an “independent investigation” of her finances and Oklahoma City chapter president T. Sheri Dickerson asserted that some BLM members “are feeling exploited.”
As for the impact of her decision to step down, Cullors said that she “will probably be less visible” since she will no longer “be at the helm of one of the largest, most controversial organizations right now in the history of our movement.”