With the ongoing George Floyd Black Lives Matter protest going on, people are trying to donate in order to forward the movement on GoFundMe, the really popular online platform that allows users to raise funds. A certain Elena Iliadis did not do the research and sent it to a different Black Lives Matter Foundation that is based in Santa Clarita.
Black Lives Matter foundation Santa Clarita
According to research, there is another Black Lives Matter Foundation which is a California-based charitable organization located in Santa Clarita. According to the research, this foundation only has a single paid employee and even lists a UPS store as its own address.
The organization obviously has a very different goal according to its own founder saying "bringing the community and police closer together." Elena Iliadis was not the only person who might have sent the money to a wrong organization as big companies like Apple, Microsoft, and even Google were able to raise $4 million and almost sent it to a certain soundalike foundation.
The founder, Robert Ray Barnes, said to the public in his BuzzFeed News lengthy interview that he does not have anything to do with the current Black Lives Matter Global Network that was active in response to the untimely death of George Floyd. The founder says that he has never met them, never spoken to them, does not even know them, and has no relationship with them.
A Black Lives Matter spokesperson finally confirmed that they are separate organizations with Barnes' own foundation and that it "has nothing to do with us." The spokesperson also claimed that the Sante Clarita group was improperly using their name and that they definitely intend to call them out for this and follow up.
Robert Ray Barnes
Barnes is a 67-year-old music producer based in LA and has been defending his use of the organization's name saying "no one owns the concept" and adding that as a certain Black man, his life has already been tainted by the painful experiences he has had with the police which include the death of his own wife's ex-husband who allegedly died in the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department back in 2011.
Through the widespread of the social movement, it has finally entered the national consciousness during the previous Ferguson demonstrations held back in August 2014 where he claimed that Black Lives Matter had actually even "stolen" both his name and idea, and cast the whole global movement as a certain opaque organization which has not at all been transparent about its use of donations. Barnes only registered the Black Lives Matter Foundation in May 2015.
The death of George Floyd has opened up the eyes of the world to police brutality but some individuals are using the Black Lives Matter name for something else.