Battle Lines Drawn Between BLM Founder Patrisse Cullors and Pundit Candace Owens

The right-wing influencer showed up at the activist’s home to ask a few questions regarding allegations around use of BLM funds. It didn’t go well

Battle lines between an embattled founder of Black Lives Matter and right-wing pundit Candace Owens were drawn this weekend after an unscheduled visit to the activist’s home by the conservative influencer quickly escalated on social media. 

On Saturday, Owens arrived at the Topanga Canyon home of Patrisse Cullors, film crew in tow, and asked to speak to someone—presumably regarding the allegations that BLM funds were used to buy million-dollar homes over the last five years. Owens, 33, has said that she is working on a documentary looking at the funding of the movement, which caught fire in 2014 and saw a massive influx of donations in 2020. That year, Cullors, 38, went on a so-called “real estate binge” which is now leading to heightened scrutiny. 

Cullors, one of three founders of BLM, is facing allegations about the potential misappropriation of the funds that poured in after the 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. In April, it was reported that BLM’s umbrella foundation bought a luxe $6 million house in Studio City—then allegedly attempted to hide the purchase from the public. Cullors is also facing scrutiny over the purchase of the Topanga Canyon property, which she reportedly purchased for $1.4 million, and several properties Cullors owns with her spouse, BLM Canada co-founder Janaya Khan. She has said that she used her own money to buy these properties. 

“This morning I woke up to Candace Owens being outside of my house with a news crew. She was demanding that I come outside… she was actually asking about the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation property,” Cullors said on Instagram on Saturday, referring to a property in Studio City. “It seems like she thought my house was that. It’s unacceptable and it’s dangerous for anybody, any stranger, to come outside of my house.”

Tearing up, Cullors then pleaded for the safety of her family and called out attacks by the right-wing media.

“They are purposefully building a wedge between Black people because they know that when we are together, we’re stronger, and they’ve seen what we’ve done this last decade,” she said. 

Almost instantly, Owens responded with her own Instagram Live session, wherein she indicated that she believed she had arrived at the BLM property that day (and not Cullors’s personal home), insisted that she simply sought to ask questions (“very politely, by the way”) but that a white security guard denied her access. She also called out Cullors’s “crocodile tears.”

“Patrisse is pretending to be scared because she knows that this Black Lives Matter lie is falling apart. And she doesn’t know what to do,” Owens said to the camera. “What you are seeing right now is the face of a woman who is pretending she’s afraid of right-wing pundits when in reality, she’s being exposed as a fraud… took millions of dollars to fund herself, to fund her lifestyle, to fund her girlfriend and to buy million-dollar mansions in neighborhoods where no Black people live.”

Owens took particular issue with Cullors’ use of a private security detail who is (gasp!) a white man, after calling for the defunding of police departments. She said that the experience at Cullors’s home this weekend is only going to further commit her to exposing the alleged misappropriation of BLM donations. 

In addition to earnings from her work with BLM, which she exited last year, Cullors published the best-selling book, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, in 2018 and has signed an overall production deal with Warner Bros. Television Group. She is also an associate faculty of social environmental arts practice at Arizona’s Prescott College.

Owens rose to prominence during the Trump Administration as communications director for the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA, then launched her talk show, Candace, with The Daily Wire in 2021. She has been known for attacks on BLM and Democrats, and of late has veered toward spreading some conspiracy theories.

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