New Black Nationalists Support the "Frontlines of BLM" Chapters Statementby W. Bernell Brooks lll on 12/05/20
This week, New Black Nationalists received a copy of the Black Lives Matter Global Network "Statement From the Frontlines of BLM."
The statement noted that a declaration was recently issued, in which Patrice Cullors was appointed Executive Director to the Black Lives Matter Global Network "Foundation."
What's the difference between BLM Global Network and BLM Global Network "Foundation?" One difference is obviously the $12 million that is held and controlled by the "Foundation." Presumably, Ms. Cullors will now play a major role in directing the use of those funds.
The "Frontlines" letter also stated that recently, two new Black Lives Matter formations have been created: a Black Lives Matter Political Action Committee, and BLM Grassroots.
Whatever lobbying a new BLM-PAC engages in, it will require some level of paid staffing that Ms. Cullors will also greatly influence. As for BLM Grassroots, we can only refer back to our analysis called "BLM 2.0," issued in August, in which Ms. Cullors stated on June 17, 2020, that $6 million would be dispensed to "grassroots organizations."
Your Frontlines letter noted that "The newly announced formation, BLM Grassroots, does not have the support of and was created without consultation with the vast majority of chapters."
Thus, it appears the chapters signing the Frontlines letter don't anticipate receiving any of those funds. Indeed, your statement went on to say "To our knowledge, most chapters have received little to no financial support from BLMGN since the launch in 2013."
The problems outlined in your letter mirror the past history of failures of BLM's co-founders, Patrice Cullors, April Tometi, and Alicia Garza.
They failed to provide leadership for the organization's vaunted decentralized leadership model; they failed to commit resources to their chapter members; they failed to provide leadership training for local leaders; they failed to provide intellectual and analytical depth to the organization, and they failed to own their mistakes and shortcomings.
Instead they engaged in secretive backroom dealing, instead of practicing open and transparent political engagement with its members and supporters. Their lack of transparency and leadership is a massive tragedy.
Worst of all, the manner in which they shamelessly traded on and tarnished the legacy of radical Black feminism, with their selfish and bottom feeding mentality is inexcusable.
On behalf of the New Black Nationalist movement, we support the efforts of the signatories of the "Frontline Statement." Your demand for accountability marks an important moment in our movement's history.
One of BLM's founding principles was inclusionary leadership, and centering those who had been marginalized and left out of leadership roles. Unfortunately, Cullors and company have strayed far from from those principles: so far that those principles are longer recognizable to them.
We also commend the Frontline group for trying to work through these difficult issues and preserve the BLM movement you have been indispensable in building. You shouldn't concede the ground you have fought for.
At the same time there may come a time when you may have to embark on a separate journey. Cullors and company are attempting to align themselves with powerful forces that have no interests in supporting a group that is "committed to collectively building an organization of BLM chapters that is democratic, accountable, and functions in a way that is aligned the ideological values and commitment to liberation."
Should you stay true to your principles, as you are doing now, you will continue to make a profound contribution to our struggle for liberation in the cataclysmic upheavals that are gathering in the 2020's.
New Black Nationalists look forward to being on the "frontlines" with you.