In this file:
· Hanson: How Cultural Revolutions Die -- or Not
· Daily Caller: National Arm Of Black Lives Matter Spent Millions On Travel And Consultants, Financial Statements Show
How Cultural Revolutions Die -- or Not
By Victor Davis Hanson, RealClearPolitics
Jun 17, 2020
Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Unlike coups or political revolutions, cultural revolutions don't just change governments or leaders. Instead, they try to redefine entire societies. Their leaders call them "holistic" and "systematic."
Cultural revolutionaries attack the very referents of our daily lives. The Jacobins' so-called Reign of Terror during the French Revolution slaughtered Christian clergy, renamed months and created a new supreme being Reason.
Mao cracked down on supposed Western decadence like the wearing of eyeglasses and made peasants forge pot iron and intellectuals wear dunce caps.
Muammar Kaddafi's Green Book cult wiped out violins and forced Libyans to raise chickens in their apartments.
The current Black Lives Matter Revolution has "canceled" certain movies, television shows and cartoons, toppled statues, tried to create new autonomous urban zones, and renamed streets and plazas. Some fanatics shave their heads. Others have shamed authorities into washing the feet of their fellow revolutionaries.
But inevitably cultural revolutions die out when they turn cannibalistic. Once the Red Guard started killing party hacks too close to Mao, it began to wane.
If toppling Confederate statues is required, what then about Nancy Pelosi's own mayor father, who once as Baltimore's mayor dedicated honorific statues to Confederate generals?
If racists understandably do not deserve their names on national shrines, what to do with the iconic liberal graduate program at Princeton, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs? It was named for a president who did more to further segregation and racial prejudice than any chief executive of the 20th century.
Stanford and Yale, coveted brand names of the progressive professional classes, are named after what protestors now deem racists.
It is easier to target Fort Bragg, the iconic military base named after a Confederate general, racist and military mediocrity than to see one's MBA or PhD lose its Yale luster, or to confess that a liberal presidential icon perpetuated racism.
Once a cultural revolution gets going, there can be no contextualization of the past, no allowance for human frailty, no consideration of weighing evil vs. good.
Eventually, the architects of cultural upheavals always make two miscalculations.
One, they presume that destroying things will never apply to themselves, given their loud virtue signaling.
Two, if they are fingered by the mob, they assume they can somehow use their clout and influence to win exemption.
In other words, once cultural revolutions turn anarchic and eat their own, they lose support. When quiet sympathizers conclude that they too may targeted, to survive they turn on their former icons.
We are seeing that now. Liberal sympathetic bystanders are wondering whether downtown arson and looting will go private and reach their suburban homes. Do they really want their marquee universities or the Washington or Jefferson monuments defaced or renamed? What happens when calling 911 gets a constant busy signal?
When a liberal mayor or black police chief or progressive governor or white leftist who diverges from the party line is targeted by the mob, then who really is safe?
Answer? No one. And so the cultural revolution sputters to irrelevance.
What deflated the MeToo movement was the high toll that the accusations took among the Hollywood and cultural elite. Suddenly, progressive celebrities began demanding evidence and insisting on presumed innocence when their careers were destroyed.
What burns out these cultural upheavals is that today's revolutionary can be denounced as tomorrow's sell-out. No leader wants to share Robespierre's rendezvous with his own guillotine.
There is one caveat.
Sometimes cultural revolutions don't die out -- if they are hijacked by a thug or killer.
The National Socialist movement was an irrelevant nihilist mob of crazies until Adolf Hitler turned it into his personal genocidal cult. A murderous Stalin resuscitated the absurdities of Lenin's failing Bolshevism.
The present madness will wane like a virus, as it eats its own and terrifies its sympathizers that they may be next -- unless, of course, a would-be Napoleon uses a "whiff of grapeshot" and turns the mob into his personal cult.
The armed rapper Raz Simone, who some say lords over the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" in downtown Seattle, so far has neither the diabolic talent nor the resources to spread his anarchy.
Dissident generals may be misguided, but they remain patriots. So far, we have seen no Napoleon emerge to claim that he is only the man who can lead today's urban revolutionaries to victory.
A final thought: cultural revolutions not only eventually die without cruel dictators, but they can spawn dramatic pushbacks.
Ronald Reagan was the answer to the radical Sixties. Revolutionaries are now sowing the wind, but they have little idea of the reactive whirlwind they may soon reap.
(C) 2020 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
document, plus audio [4:28 min.]
National Arm Of Black Lives Matter Spent Millions On Travel And Consultants, Financial Statements Show
· Black Lives Matter Global Network spent millions on consultants, travel and compensation for its staff from July 2017 through June 2019, according to audited financial statements from its fiscal sponsor, Thousand Currents.
· About 6% of BLM Global Network’s spending during those three fiscal years was in the form of grants to outside organizations such as its independent affiliated chapters, the statements show.
· BLM Global Network Managing Director Kailee Scales told the Daily Caller News Foundation the figures are not an accurate reflection of the in-kind support it provided to its affiliated chapters those years.
· Scales also said her organization is not responsible for the preparation of the financial statements, saying they were prepared by BLM Global Network’s fiscal sponsor, Thousand Currents.
Andrew Kerr, The Daily Caller News Foundation
June 18, 2020
The national arm of Black Lives Matter spent millions on consultants, travel and compensation for its own staff between July 2017 and June 2019, according to audited financial statements prepared by its fiscal sponsor, Thousand Currents.
BLM Global Network spent $899,000 on travel, $1.6 million on consulting and $2.1 million on personnel costs during its 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, the financial statements show, together comprising 83.3% of its total spending during the three year period. BLM Global Network granted $328,000 to outside organizations, which include local BLM chapters, during that same time frame, a figure that represents about 6% of its total spending.
“The numbers you have for the prior years do not reflect, for example, the in kind support for chapters and fundraising directed to chapters and programmatic assistance to chapters, that would not show up as direct grants on the audited financials,” BLM Global Network Managing Director Kailee Scales told the DCNF on Tuesday. “That work was carried out by employees and consultants to BLM.”
But Scales did not answer when asked how much of its spending during that timeframe reflected the in-kind assistance she says BLM Global Network gave to its local BLM chapters versus the development of the various art projects the organization advertises as program areas on its website.
Additionally, Scales said her organization is not responsible for preparing the financial statements, noting that they were prepared by Thousand Currents, a California charity that has acted as a fiscal sponsor for BLM Global Network since 2016.
“The numbers you cite from the annual information return form [sic] our fiscal sponsor reflect IRS-required reporting categories that bear no relationship to how our programs have actually been run,” Scales said. “These are not numbers developed by BLM Global Network Foundation and we cannot speak to how they were calculated.”
Scales also said BLM Global Network has upped its grant-making activities substantially during its current fiscal year, granting “over $770,000” to outside organizations between the beginning of June 2019 and the end of April 2020. Financial statements for BLM’s current fiscal year are not yet available.
BLM Global Network announced on June 11 it was launching a $6.5 million fund to support its affiliated local chapters with grants of up to $500,000 after donations began flooding into the organizations following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.
On Wednesday, BLM Global Network announced an additional $6 million grant fund to support black-led grassroots organization groups. The group told the Associated Press it has received more than 1.1 million donations since Floyd’s death. The average donation clocked in at $33, according to the AP.
A spokesperson for Thousand Currents, which was formerly called “IDEX,” confirmed in an email to the DCNF that it was approached by BLM Global Network in 2016 to create a fiscal sponsorship arrangement, which enables the activist group to use Thousand Currents’ charitable status to receive tax-deductible contributions.
“In this capacity, we provide administrative and back office support, including finance, accounting, grants management, insurance, human resources, legal and compliance,” the Thousand Currents spokesperson said.
Thousand Currents’ primary charitable activity is to support grassroots groups and movements in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, according to its website. The charity’s former executive director, Rajasvini Bhansali, told the Associated Press in 2016 that BLM Global Network agreed to make donations to Thousand Currents’ partners in Zimbabwe and South Africa in lieu of an administrative fee for its fiscal sponsorship services.
Thousand Currents did not respond to numerous inquiries seeking clarification on how much BLM Global Network has contributed to its overseas partners since its fiscal sponsorship began in 2016.
Scales, who did not respond to numerous requests for a phone interview with the DCNF, also did not respond when asked how much BLM Global Network has donated to its fiscal sponsor’s overseas partners.
Thousand Currents finance director Jenesha de Revera told FactCheck.org that BLM Global Network’s activities are referred to as the “fiscal project” in its audited financial statements for fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Local BLM Chapters ‘Are The Ones Leading’
Multiple BLM founders have said its independent, autonomous chapters are the ones responsible for carrying out the movement’s mission.
“We have impacted the world; the Black Lives Matter Global Network, a crew of mostly young Black women and femmes challenging the culture to live up to our resilience. We evolved from a phrase, to hashtag, to a global network,” BLM co-founder Patrise Khan-Cullors wrote in a statement commemorating the group’s fifth anniversary in 2018. “This work is carried out by our chapters, whose leadership spans across the country and the world.”
Another BLM co-founder, Opal Tometi, told The New Yorker in early June that the affiliated BLM chapters “are the ones leading” the movement.
“It has always been somewhat decentralized,” Tometi said. “We have tried various structures, but we have always said the power goes on in the local chapter because they know what is going on, and they are the ones familiar with the terrain.”
“There are chapters across the country, many of them are operational and do their own fund-raising, and make their demands,” Tometi said, adding that the chapters have great leeway in deciding which issues to focus on.
“So different chapters might take on different issues, but there is this throughline of valuing black life and understanding that we are not a monolith but being radically inclusive in terms of chapter makeup,” Tometi said.
Former BLM Global Network communications strategist Shanelle Matthews explained in 2016 that the national group plays a supporting role for its affiliated chapters.
“Because we are decentralized, chapters are autonomous and develop their own strategies,” Matthews told PR Week. “They know what’s best for their communities. Anyone working outside a chapter is here to provide technical assistance and support.”
All of BLM Global Network’s affiliated chapters must establish their own legal entities prior to their initiation to the network, according to the organization’s website.
Former BLM activist Ashley Yates has publicly criticized BLM Global Network since as early as 2018 for what she says is a lack of transparency and has accused the organization of squandering money on excessive travel and compensation for its top staffers while giving little to its affiliated chapters.
Yates is described on a GoFundMe fundraising page established last year to support her work as having “[M]et with President Obama at the White House in November of 2014 after the officer who murdered Micheal Brown failed to be indicted by a grand jury” and that she “was among the protesters who made headlines by interrupting presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley at Netroots Nation in 2015.” Yates also profiled in a 2018 New York Times article about the depression and physical strains suffered by young black activists.
“I had concerns since the donations started rolling in from day one and I asked each of the co founders individually what happened to all the money several times,” Yates tweeted in January 2019. “Each time I got the run around, outright dismissed.”
Black Lives Matter Cincinnati announced in March 2018 it was changing its name because the national group had “perverted” the Black Lives Matter brand…
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