by WorldTribune Staff, June 11, 2020
Apparently, you can ask Black Lives Matter “anything,” except how the group spends the millions of dollars it is receiving from major corporations.
In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) discussion on Monday, Black Lives Matter managing director Kailee Scales dodged questions on where donations to the movement are going, Breitbart News reported.
Scales commented on BLM’s advocacy for defunding police departments and addressed issues of crime, violence, and the Wuhan coronavirus as they relate to Black Lives Matter protests.
“However, the reactions to many of her posts were overwhelmingly negative, with users complaining about vague and tone-deaf answers to basic questions,” Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari noted.
One Reddit user asked Scales: “Obviously right now BLM is getting MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars in donations. Where is all the money going and how is it allocated?”
Another user said: “Yeah, I would love to see a report about the amount of donations and for what it was used. Without this, the organization only uses the BLM name tag to get donations.”
Scales did not answer the questions, but eventually answered a question on the same topic.
“When people give money to Black Lives Matter, where specifically does it go?” one user asked. “What’s financial transparency like for your organization?”
Scales replied: “Hi — great question. Right now, our programs are focused on civic engagement, expansion of chapters, Arts & Culture, organizing and digital advocacy resources and tools. Please visit our website and subscribe to blacklivesmatter.com for updates and more information to come!”
The response did not satisfy the Reddit Q&A participants, who signaled their disapproval by “downvoting” Scales’ reply. As of Wednesday, her response had -1,163 net votes.
The top comment on that thread asked: “Why don’t you post actual links to where the funding goes? This is not an answer.”
Related: Black Lives Matter demands Boston cough up $15 million for summer jobs for illegals, June 19, 2020
Several Reddit users questioned whether BLM is even a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
On Monday, Airbnb announced it was donating $500,000 to Black Lives Matter and the NAACP, and noted “we’ll be matching employee donations to both groups. Because a world where we all belong takes all of us.”
Airbnb recently cut 1,900 jobs, reducing its workforce by about 25 percent, amid the economic downturn caused by coronavirus lockdowns.
Scales was also criticized for her responses to questions on anti-semitism.
One Reddit user said: “Your organization has been accused of anti-semitism both by its members, it’s alliances, and its reverence for avowed Jew haters. For example, the myth that Jews were particularly involved in the slave trade seems to be particularly pervasive and pernicious, and is entirely fabricated by the Nation of Islam. Jews on the streets of Brooklyn have been repeatedly targetted by black citizens in violent crimes. BLM has turned a blind eye to anti-semitism in its support of the Palestinian cause, a cause in no way related to black equality in the United States. It should be obvious that equality for blacks people cannot be achieved through bigotry and subjugation of another oppressed group. What are you doing to fight bigotry within BLM?”
Scales responded: “I am not sure where you receive your information, but BLM is a political home for all those marginalized, invisible, and oppressed by the dominant culture,” she said. “We do not support or express hate speech or bias of any kind.” That post on Wednesday stood at nearly -800 net votes.
One reply stated: “Not surprised at all by their non-answer. I support the protests, police reform, and especially black lives. But if the organization can’t even disavow the many anti-Semitic statements and dog whistles it puts out, there needs to be a better group leading this righteous cause.”
The most-upvoted comment in the discussion summarized frustrations with Scales’ evasive answers: “As a Black woman, I’m really disappointed… this AMA has really colored me to BLM as not having themselves together with hard and fast fact. I’m done reading this AMA because it’s not [answers about anything]. It’s a lot of reposting and saying going to BLM website.”
Black Lives Matter is urging its supporters to promote its #DefundThePolice initiative on social media.
“We call for a national defunding of police,” reads a post on the BLM national website. “We demand investment in our communities and the resources to ensure Black people not only survive, but thrive. If you’re with us, add your name to the petition right now and help us spread the word.”