The Black Lives Matter Foundation is in no way affiliated with Black Lives Matter, but some have speculated that they have collected over a million dollars in donations.
A man in Santa Clarita was able to rake in the dough recently as he took advantage of the Black Lives Matter movement. We've watched people take to the street to protest systemic racism, police brutality, and injustice, and in these last weeks, there have been numerous ways to donate to Black Lives Matter. Like many other movements, there are a handful of people who have bucked the system and found ways to take advantage to the altruistic public, and a Black man from Santa Clarita, California named Ray Barnes has been accused of doing just that—but he claims he isn't stealing from anyone.
Elijah Nouvelage / Stringer / Getty Images
Back in 2013, Black Lives Matter formed after three women got together and used the mantra and movement as a response to George Zimmerman being found not guilty after he chased down and murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. In 2015, The Black Lives Matter Foundation was formed by Ray Barnes, and states on its website that it hopes "to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
Previously, Barnes told Buzzfeed that BLM stole his idea. He claims that he came up with it after his wife's ex-husband was allegedly killed by LAPD. In response to recent protests, people have been searching online on how to donate to Black Lives Matter, and instead, many have found The Black Lives Matter Foundation. They've donated to Barnes's cause without knowing it, and it's speculated that he's brought in big bucks within the last few weeks. However, he wouldn't specify the exact amount.
“I have never heard one word from anybody from Black Lives Matter,” Barnes told CBS2. “If someone did not want to donate to me, then I would gladly return it. People have sent me checks that say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ it doesn’t say the ‘Foundation’ and I send it back.” GoFundMe has pushed pause of releasing monies to Barnes as they investigate the matter.
“One-hundred and eighty campaigns have recently raised money for the Black Lives Matter Foundation, raising $350,000. GoFundMe placed all funds on hold and we working with PayPal and the campaign organizers to ensure all of the money raised is transferred to the Black Lives Matter movement via their fiscal sponsor,” GoFundMe said.