An Open Letter from BLM Inland Empire


tometi, garza, and cullors

‘BREAKING: Black Lives Matter Inland Empire Announces Departure from BLM Global Network’, Feb. 4, 2021 by leftoutmag.com (my bolds)

“Recently, a group of BLM chapters known as the BLM 10 has come forward to voice their concerns and opposition to the Global Network. Those concerns, along with the egregious conduct the Global network demonstrated on Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, have brought us to the conclusion that continuing to remain silent would be an act of betrayal. While the issues and problems that have been raised have been well known within our circle for years, it prompted many questions & concerns for us locally. We’d like to let the community know everything outlined in the statement put out by the BLM 10 is valid. We’ve also reached out to the BLM 10 and offered to sign on in support. Hopefully, we can provide insight and clarification into our chapter’s history, our relationship with the global network, and our commitments going forward.

When BLM IE first started, we were originally known as the Black and Brown Underground (BBU). In 2015 we were approached by an individual named Patrisse Cullors, who offered us an opportunity to join the Global Network and organize as a Black Lives Matter chapter.  After hearing her proposal, we believed that our work, direction, and principles aligned and agreed to join the network; renaming ourselves Black Lives Matter Inland Empire in the process. We were told that the organization we were joining was decentralized and leaderless, but we quickly discovered that was not the case. The Global Network is a top-down dogmatic organization that promotes certain chapters that choose to align with their direction and sequester the ones that don’t. For us locally, that chapter has been Los Angeles.

For years, the leadership of the Los Angeles chapter has aligned with the Global network and One United Bank to impose on various chapters, particularly ours. We believe that while doing this they received substantial donations and funding, despite them continually soliciting the community for donations.

Together, the Los Angeles Chapter along with the Global Network have consistently tried to strong-arm other groups and  have worked to undermine a grassroots movement by capitalizing on unpaid labor, suppressing any internal attempt at democracy, commodifying Black death, and profiting from the same pain and suffering inflicted on Black communities that we’re fighting to end. In spite of  being ostracised, receiving no financial support, and the maltreatment from both the Global Network and Los Angeles Chapter we’ve maintained our composure while working to the benefit of our community and victims of state sanctioned violence.

Clearly, we do not have the same beliefs or sense of ethics. We no longer feel, as we initially did, that our politics align. As a result, we are announcing that we are no longer associated or connected to the BLM Global Network. As an attempt to distance ourselves, we have decided to rename part of our organization The Black Power Collective while we restructure.

The use of the BLM name, which we believed was intended to unify our struggle, has been commodified and debased. It is now being used to sell products, acquire book deals, T.V. deals, and speaking engagements. We have no interest in these pursuits, and we are opposed to the movement to substitute Black capitalism for white capitalism. It has become clear that the Global network and certain figures have platformed our struggles with the sole purpose of exploiting our labor.

Furthermore, the issue of greatest concern for us is the relationship between the Global Network and the Democratic Party. This is hypocritical at best, as the Democratic Party has historically rejected and ignored BLM’s demands and has made it clear that they are pro-police, pro-prison, and committed to capitalism. From Obama’s support of police and his double-cross of Erica Garner, to “Top Cop” Kamala Harris’ denial of justice for Matrice Richardson, even going back to the 1994 Crime Bill authored by Joe Biden along with the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act that stripped basic human rights from countless Black peoplethe Democratic Party has literally created the conditions that led to the formation of this movement. Even now, the Democratic party continues to support imperialism, killing African heads of state, bombing Somalia, abusing immigrants (including those of the Black diaspora), and spreading the U.S. military throughout Black and Brown countries around the world. This is a party that is a threat both here and internationally. To ally with them is to ally against ourselves.

The BLM10 statement calls out the lack of financial transparency and power moves by Patrisse Cullors and others. The actions demonstrated by the Global network have provided proof that the Global Network is essentially a steering committee acting in the best interest of various fractions within the Democratic Party. Additionally, the creation of the Black Lives Matter Political Action Committee is a violation of our collective agreement. This agreement was composed of two rules: 1. We do not work with police, 2. We do not endorse politicians. We had hoped that those rules would protect our struggle from being corrupted by the nonprofit sector or absorbed into the Democratic party. However, it now appears that the same fate that many activist groups before us fell victim to is the same fate that the BLM Global Network are destined to face. They have not only aligned with a political party, they’ve used the finances they acquired from a massive uprising during a global pandemic to create the aforementioned BLM PAC.

We believe that all finances should be clear and transparent to the Black community. We also believe they should be controlled by chapters that adhere to a democratic structure along with community checks and balances. Leaders that appoint themselves can no longer serve or be seen as leaders.  We can not accept charismatic figures imposing themselves as dictators, nor can we support personality cults.  In the spirit of Audre Lordre  and Ella Baker we believe that, ‘’…the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” and that “…strong people don’t need strong leaders”.  To that end, it is imperative that we engage in the struggle with our own tools and work to build a stronger people.

We would also like to address the violent rumor-mongering directed towards a member of our group who was maliciously accused of being a member of law enforcement. These slanderous accusations came from a leader of BLM LA and a  figurehead of the Global Network. These accusations were nothing but an attempt to duck accountability for the way members of national leadership have treated victims of police brutality and a violation of their own policies. The bullying and attempts to silence smaller chapters and individuals who speak up must end.

Let us be clear, we are not the authors of the discord within our movement.  Malcolm X encouraged us to handle our differences behind closed doors, but all attempts at that have failed. This corruption has thrived in part due to our silence and for that we must apologize.
Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories…”-Amilcar Cabral

………………………………………………………………………………

As there was no link to the BLM PAC, I’ d Bingled and had found Politico had announced the formation of a BLM PAC on Nov. 9, 2020:

“On the heels of nearly six months of nationwide demonstrations that sparked an international movement against systemic racism and police violence, Black Lives Matter is expanding its influence into politics by forming a political action committee — a highly unusual move for a grassroots organizing group with no central leadership.

The Black Lives Matter PAC will formally roll out its programs as early as Monday, according to Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter. The committee plans to endorse a slate of candidates ahead of the general election, paying special attention to mayoral, county sheriff and district attorney races.

“We want to be able to not just speak in ‘get out the vote’ language,” Cullors said in an interview with POLITICO. “Black Lives Matter is launching our PAC so we can talk directly to voters about who we think that they should be voting for and what we think they should be voting on.”

And indeed they’ve rolled it out.

“Early voting is now open. Vote on or by January 5 for Warnock and Ossoff.”

I’d clicked the DONATE button to find:

‘Your donations will help us elect progressive community leaders, activists, and working-class candidates fighting for Black liberation.’

Their PAC’s opensecrets (center for respsonsive politics) page.

“This outside spending group does disclose its donors to the FEC, but no non-generic donors/employers have been identified that have contributed more than $1000. Donations from affiliated organizations are excluded when calculating the top donors. Donations to parties and traditional PACs can be found in the PACs section.”

To say their page suffers form a dearth of Information would be putting it mildly.

From their Twitter account:

And yes, one Tweeter had dubbed their Global Network group 'Grifters'.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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earthling1's picture

Any org. that threatens the status quo is quickly infiltrated and sabotaged from within.
An age-old ploy.
Good luck to the Black Power Collective.

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12 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

wendy davis's picture

@earthling1

Café Babylon: democrats as status qo gatekeepers.

more true today than when i opened the place 5 (?) years ago.

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ggersh's picture

The D's/NeoLibs buy off all leadership of all organizations that they fear and use that leadership to control the narrative.

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/lj0zib/weve_been_correct_...

We've been correct all along. It's only now becoming too obvious to hide.
r/conspiracy

Posted byu/KorrectDaRekard
10 hours ago
Helpful3Wholesome5Faith In Humanity RestoredSilver4
I'm starting to suspect that the real "Silent Majority" is a collection of people left right & center, who are rejecting the corporate media narrative, and have lost respect for mostly all politicians. I am also starting to suspect that this "Silent Majority" is way larger than we're lead to believe

How many people do you know personally that have lost faith in, or at the very least are now questioning the corporate media? How many of them surprised you, since you previously viewed them as the NPC-Type?

How many people do you see liking and sharing memes and posts that go against the norm?

Did you notice how much support the "Gamestonk Rebellion" got from all sides?

Do you find that the number of people who actually care about this impeachment trial is very low? How many of your friends and family see it as political theater wasting time that could be better spent on relief?

Have you noticed a lot more people turning to different forms of media?

Because of this pandemic we are basically being forced to only communicate through social media and apps. It's no secret that they can see pretty much everything we say and see, and what we are seeing is them turning up the propaganda to 100. We are seeing them go all in with divisive distractions, while artificial trends are bullied in to formation. We watch over the top hashtags get astroturfed to the top of platforms. We are seeing corporate media pushing for expanded government surveillance powers, while simultaneously trying to destroy independent media. While this is happening our president has spent his first 21 days signing an unprecedented amount of unpopular executive orders bypassing working with congress altogether. He's doing this surrounded by thousands of armed troops patrolling DC.

This doesn't sound like a government that is confident in it's ability to rule, this seems like the actions of people who are scared. What data are they seeing when they monitor us that's causing them to act this way? Why does it seem like we are witnessing the elites in panic mode, flexing their muscles in fear, hoping we don't call their bluff? As we sit quietly behind our mandated masks, it seems like theirs is slipping.

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12 users have voted.

The fucking ocean caught fire, they just bombed Iraq, Syria, they’re killing kids in Yemen, ramping up nuclear escalations against Russia, China and Facebook is warning users that it’s those who criticize this system who are the dangerous extremists.

wendy davis's picture

@ggersh

contribution and link, i don't see this as portrayed at your reddit link:

Didn't Bernie tell us that all these orgs were the establishment

The D's/NeoLibs buy off all leadership of all organizations that they fear and use that leadership to control the narrative.

now if he'd said, or you'd said 'they co-opt them', i'd agree. but imo, they don't fear them. they're plugging dems, and 'other progressives'. or at least that's what this Open Letter is about. am i missing something? it sure does happen for me often....

it's like thee congress critter kneeling nine minute for george floyd: wearing freaking kinte cloth? no kinte cloth masks yet, nancy? ; )

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@wendy davis Well they bought off Bernie in 2016.

Remember him buying his lake house right after the campaign?, how incredibly tone deaf...

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wendy davis's picture

@BORG_US_BORG

that to say the truth. but then i hadn't paid all that much attention to bernie due to his crap FP stances.

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

Democrats mimicked the murder of Floyd by kneeling for as many minutes as the cop did that murdered him. They even borrowed another culture's clothing garb that had no connection whatsoever to Floyd’s ancestors and looked even more silly.

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4 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties not only for certain groups.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

there are at least a dozen of them available by Bingling 'images of..'

yes, how completely absurd. and what sort of Cultural Revolution has happened in civil rights 2.0? no more aunt jemima, uncle ben, no indun on land o'lakes butter..no eskimo pies.

oh, and joe biden calling for pay rises for the po-po.

"We got yer backs, blacks and first amerikans!"

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While I can identify with the struggles that bore these movements (as someone who has spent a lifetime teetering on the edge of poverty and fighting hard not to be poor), I find them aiming at the wrong targets, and just can't get on board. Similarly the Pink Hats, you know, they who are without sin, cast the first stone. I have been told by members of both of those groups to shut up and that my opinions don't matter, based solely upon the color of my skin, and gender. It's quite the canard that groups seeking equality, will freely discriminate, devalue and otherise those who are not exactly like they are.

I watched the "BLM" group disrupt Bernie Sanders speech at a (unrelated to his campaign) even in defense of Social Security. They didn't have a message, they just wanted the spectacle. They wouldn't engage with Bernie when he asked them what did they want. It turns out both of the women provocateurs went to a super expensive private christian college (hardly downtrodden), and had supported Sarah Palin!

My G/F follows quite a few SJW's on instagram and other platforms, the stuff I overhear just seems to be a lot of self promotion, name and catch-phrase dropping. Much like what has become of BLM over the years.

Now that we have a super "racially" and gender diverse group of incredibly wealthy neoliberals in the highest cabinet positions (and VP), haven't much of the goals of the ID/Pol movements been achieved?

I guess I'm too idealistic in ways. I envision a world where people are not judged by their skin or gender variant, but by the content of their character.

I also believe a genuine class waging of war against the obscenely out of scale wealthiest class, is the only thing that will bring true equitability. Lets face it, the super wealthy have been winning the class war on everyone else for the last 50 years. It's time we fought back in earnest. I can remember when I was a child, the possibilities were endless, yet as I grew up and continued into my careers, opportunities to meaningfully succeed dwindled, while they infinitely expanded for those who seemed to be just a bit richer (in reality they were orders of magnitude richer) than me. It's like there is an invisible force that keeps pushing you down, unless you are already in the higher income bracket, then you are free, and you can only fall up.

I'm sure there's a couple logical fallacies that anyone who wanted to could pick apart. Consider it more of an outline than a scholarly work.

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QMS's picture

@BORG_US_BORG

..by the content of their character

this has always been my focus, or prejudice if you will

if one must judge another, in my book,
it is about action and intent

the rest is hyperbole Wink

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snoopydawg's picture

@BORG_US_BORG

you nailed it.

It's quite the canard that groups seeking equality, will freely discriminate, devalue and otherise those who are not exactly like they are.

This hits so many issues.

Yes they have.

Now that we have a super "racially" and gender diverse group of incredibly wealthy neoliberals in the highest cabinet positions (and VP), haven't much of the goals of the ID/Pol movements been achieved?

Now that they’ve met their ID politics goals and impeachment is over they can now devote themselves to passing the legislation that they have been running on for decades. This is the fact that dem voters need to see. Here they are once again in total control of all branches and yet they are still saying they don’t have the power to pass their dreams. What will? Is there ever going to be an end to goalpost moving? No.

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10 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties not only for certain groups.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@BORG_US_BORG It seems to operate on a "Flat Earth/monotheistic" logic: there is only one truth; there is only one world; there is only one narrative. 6 years ago, everyone understood that while it's one planet, it's countless different worlds - now, that's somehow become unthinkable, like everybody was just suddenly "de-educated" of centuries, if millennia, of hard-learned history.

This is why nationalism is inevitably bad; ANY individual or community whose existence doesn't fit into the centralized NewTruth WILL be persecuted in ways they had not been before, if not subject to outright ontocide. If you can't find a role for yourself in the itty-bitty, hackishly-written script you've been handed, one will be found for you - YOUR life does NOT matter.

"Black Lives Matter" made perfect sense in light of the Trayvon Martin incident, and if you'd asked me in 2017, I'd have sincerely said it was the last thing in politics to actually make sense - now it's just classic collective narcissism, a case study in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People altogether too parallel to American behavior after 9/11. The Neocon Side clouds everything....

"Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."
- Albert Einstein

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6 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is now considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

wendy davis's picture

@BORG_US_BORG

'a world where people are not judged by their skin or gender variant, but by the content of their character.'

to me, that's the reason to call all this Civil Rights 2.0, as the first one never really took. and yes, the OP mocks biden/harris and the dems for the same thing.

Furthermore, the issue of greatest concern for us is the relationship between the Global Network and the Democratic Party. This is hypocritical at best, as the Democratic Party has historically rejected and ignored BLM’s demands and has made it clear that they are pro-police, pro-prison, and committed to capitalism. From Obama’s support of police and his double-cross of Erica Garner, to “Top Cop” Kamala Harris’ denial of justice for Matrice Richardson, even going back to the 1994 Crime Bill authored by Joe Biden along with the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act that stripped basic human rights from countless Black people—the Democratic Party has literally created the conditions that led to the formation of this movement. Even now, the Democratic party continues to support imperialism, killing African heads of state, bombing Somalia, abusing immigrants (including those of the Black diaspora), and spreading the U.S. military throughout Black and Brown countries around the world. This is a party that is a threat both here and internationally. To ally with them is to ally against ourselves.

do some degree i can agree with some authors at wsws that it's not race but class that determines police killing so many blacks and browns with nearly total impunity, but the intersection of class and race per capita...they indeed are assassinated far more often, and not just by the po-po, either.

but what do we expect in a nation founded on genocide, slavery, and a constitution based on Property Rights?

Now that we have a super "racially" and gender diverse group of incredibly wealthy neoliberals in the highest cabinet positions (and VP), haven't much of the goals of the ID/Pol movements been achieved?

not just that, but the are eeo-cong war mongers, a torturer apologist, a black rock flak, 2 goldman sachs flaks. oh, such a wild ride it will be as the depression deepens. we'll be out in the cold depending on one another, IOW.

i freely admit to white privilege in my daily life; in our community it's blacks and fist americans who are automatically put in the Suspect Class, although mainly males.

no, i think civil rights 2.0 is still far from settled, and i'm glad they'd penned their open letter.

glen for at BAR had added the image of the three 'grifters' at the top.

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wendy davis's picture

but i discovered earlier that my microsoft email account had been hacked.

yesterday i had an angry email from microsoft that i'd been warned that not allowing them to update my account was a final warning.

i tried to do what they wanted, but now i have no address book, which probably had over 200 addresses in it.

but trump not being convicted (score 57-43) got a reaction by the garza/cullors wing of BLM:

and sorry, many in the black lives movement love their white allies.

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4 users have voted.

In Seattle, BLM forcibly took the stage away from him. They did the same to every candidate except Hillary. They are ffakes and always have been.

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10 users have voted.

A number of years ago now in 2016. I have links somewhere ... Anybody remember how two BLM activists had disrupted and shut down Sander's speech to a labor rally in Seattle? They were basically trying to humiliate Sanders over race. He had to good sense to leave relatively quickly. There was a hue and cry over this by Sander supporters arguing that Sanders was exceptional for his work for racial justice. I think one of the original three in the article basically attacked Sanders rather harshly as a symbol of white racism. After that incident Sander organizers had developed tactics so these so-called activists could not disrupt his rallies.

Well, not long afterward Hillary Clinton was giving a speech in NH when supposedly some BLM'ers from Boston were coming up to "disrupt" her speech. What a phony non-event. The campaign knew who was coming to NH. The group was herded off to a side room to meet Hillary where they respectfully listened to the Great White Momma give them the word on politics. It was pathetic and obviously well planned out.

And again not long after this there was a conference of black activists group. One or two of the women who came up with the BLM phrase were there and met with Hillary's black outreach director. And of course since then the democrats have done symbolic performative bullshit to show they are on the side of BLM.

There seems to be two parts to the BLM movement. The co-opted group acting as a front for the democratic party, and the spontaneous groups that arise where there is police violence.

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wendy davis's picture

@MrWebster
officially trademarked interrupted him. either garza, tometi or cullors. they'd interruped hellary, as well, and she was shrewd as a fox, took them offstage and asked their demands.

hard for me grasp why others on the thread all lump them altogether as Rt.com too often does.

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lotlizard's picture

A subreddit for pushing back against the premise that a person of X background and a person of Y background are essentially different on some fundamental level, so that Xs can never understand Ys, represent their interests fairly, “authentically” portray Y characters and points of view or create works that include such, etc. …

https://www.reddit.com/r/stupidpol/

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Nastarana