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BY ATHENA THORNE | P J MEDIA
AP Photo/Paul White
Less than two years after donating a cool $10 million to “social justice” organizations including the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), Amazon has removed the foundation from its list of approved AmazonSmile charities. The move comes after the states of Washington and California ordered BLMGNF to cease accepting donations immediately until the controversial non-profit resolves serious transparency issues and complies with financial reporting requirements. At issue is the over $90 million that individuals and corporations poured into BLMGNF’s coffers in the wake of George Floyd’s death in May of 2020.
The Washington Examiner, which has been following the story of BLMGNF’s problematic accounting, obtained a statement from an Amazon spokesperson:
“Charitable organizations must meet the requirements outlined in our participation agreement to be eligible for AmazonSmile,” an Amazon representative told the Washington Examiner. “Among other eligibility requirements, organizations are required to be in good standing in their state of incorporation and in the states and territories where they are authorized to do business. Organizations that don’t meet the requirements listed in the agreement may have its eligibility suspended or revoked.”
BLMGNF is also currently non-compliant with reporting requirements in New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Maryland, and Maine.
On its website, Amazon explains that “AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. … When you shop with AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. You can choose from over one million organizations to support.” As of Tuesday, BLMGNF is no longer among those organizations.
Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 by three female activists and operates on the belief that America is an inherently racist country. The organization grew over the years by capitalizing on mainstream media sensationalization of cherry-picked police shootings and other incidents. After George Floyd died while being arrested, money flowed into the organization at a rate it seems to have been ill-prepared to handle. In a recent interview, co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors said, “People have to know we didn’t go out and solicit the money. This is money that came from white guilt, white corporation guilt, and they just poured money in.” (She wasn’t wrong.)
As of Nov. 15, 2021, BLMGNF became delinquent in filing the required IRS financial reporting.
When California and Washington shut down BLMGNF fundraising, a spokesperson for the organization told the Washington Examiner that “We take these matters seriously and have taken immediate action. … We have immediately engaged compliance counsel to address any issues related to state fundraising compliance. In the interim, we have shut down online fundraising as we work quickly to ensure we are meeting all compliance requirements.”
According to Amazon’s spokesperson, “Charities can request to be reinstated once they are back in good standing.”
Author: Frances Rice