#BlackLivesMatter co-founder: Bill O'Reilly fuels "anti-black racism" by providing "ammunition for folks like Dylann Roof"

Patrisse Cullors said she was "mortified" by the way in which O'Reilly mischaracterized the network she co-founded

By Scott Eric Kaufman
July 30, 2015 4:05PM (UTC)
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Patrisse Cullors (Credit: HuffPost Live)

One of the co-founders of the #BlackLivesMatter network spoke to HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill Wednesday about Bill O'Reilly's accusation that the group is a George Soros-funded collection of "fringe nuts who run around the country saying crazy things."

"I watched it and was mortified," Patrisse Cullors said. "What’s unfortunate about Bill O’Reilly is that it’s pundits like him that fuel anti-black racism. It’s pundits like him that allow for folks like Dylann Roof to get more ammunition."


"I think we need to hold him accountable," she added, because "on the one hand we can laugh about it, but on the other hand folks are really watching that and taking that as real news."

Cullors disputed O'Reilly's claim that hers is a group of "fringe nuts" only supported by "the radical left," saying #BlackLivesMatter "has 26 chapters across the country ranging from young folks to older folks. People who have been in the movement for decades, people who just joined after August 9th.

As to whether the group is merely another front for conservative's favorite cartoon villain, George Soros, Cullors said that "we aren’t a front group for another organization. This is a grassroots effort."


She explicitly denied receiving money from Soros, but didn't rule out the possibility that some within the larger movement inspired by her organization have.

"The network isn’t receiving any contributions from Soros," she said. "Possibly the larger movement is -- there’s lots of folks in #BlackLivesMatter! The problem is that everybody conflates the network with the movement."

"There’s a broader movement and there’s a larger ecosystem, and then there’s the network," she concluded. "We have not received money from Soros. We have received money from Jay-Z and Beyonce."


Watch the entire interview below via HuffPost Live.

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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