Dear Black Lives Matter Grassroots,
Today, an impartial and thoughtful Black judge determined the lawsuit you filed against us, led by Melina Abdullah, had no merit.
- The judge dismissed all allegations about Shalomyah Bowers “siphoning” $10 million. It was not true.
- The judge dismissed all allegations of fraud or abuse of power by any of our Board members. It was not true.
- The judge dismissed all allegations that we misused donations from the public. It was not true.
Now that the legal part is out of the way, we hope we can appeal to your abolitionist soul that is rooted in our collective praxis of love, healing, and accountability.
As you know, this year marks the 10 year anniversary of Black Lives Matter. Together, we have spent the last decade trying to end an antiquated global system of police, prisons, and all punishment paradigms in order to build a new world anchored in care and dignity of all Black people across the Diaspora — it’s in our DNA. We’ve grounded our work in the abundant Black wisdom of those who have come before us. Our movement has inspired millions of people from all corners of the Earth. Each of you have done enormous good and have been a driving force toward our collective freedom.
It is in that vein that we seek to put an end to this deeply unfortunate moment in our history. The lawsuit, smear campaign, the name calling, and dehumanization we have been subjected to has caused unfathomable division and destruction to the Black Lives Matter mission.
As students of history, we know that Black liberation movements have been dismantled, in part, because Black movement practitioners decided to destroy each other in public. We refuse to do that. But accountability must include the reality about how your attacks have given comfort to those who prey on fissures within Black ecosystems, which enables their hateful agenda against us. We are particularly distressed that this has caused such a distraction from the work and we remain mystified by your decision to use the system we desire to dismantle and transform — the civil and criminal punishment system — to deal with our conflict.
The problems we face as a community are too great for us to be divided. The only way to deal with the critical issues of police brutality, ending state sanctioned violence, economic prosperity for Black people, and achieving a world where Black people across the Diaspora thrive, experience joy, and are not defined by their struggles, is if we heal the past and re-imagine the future.
Regarding healing the past: When you are ready, we remain committed to holding space to discuss how we heal, so we can move forward proactively on behalf of all Black people.
Regarding re-imagining the future: Although it may seem impossible now, we see a future where our two organizations can continue to operate separately, without strife, and with outsized impact toward achievement of our common goals.
Today’s decision could be seen as a win for our organization, but it isn’t. In fact, if either of our organizations decide to have a narrow focus on “winning” a lawsuit or news cycle, then we risk losing sight of what we have in common: immense love for Black people and an overriding belief that an abolitionist framework and strategy is necessary to change the conditions endured by Black people around the globe. Only through righteous struggle will we be able to repair our communities and build an abolitionist future.
In the spirit of abolition, we must move forward, with love.
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation