George Soros and the Black Lives Matter Rumors
In the past year the Black Lives Matter movement has been in the news constantly at http://foreignpolicy.com/author/george-soros/, as several police shootings brought the issue of black rights to the forefront of society. As the presidential election has heated up, these two issues were brought together as black activists from the group were seen protesting against Bernie Sanders as well as Donald Trump. All of this brought up the question of who, if anyone, is funding the movement.
In the midst of all of this activity, a rumor began swirling that suggested that billionaire philanthropist and liberal activist George Soros was behind the Black Lives Matter movement, to the tune of $33 million in contributions. This rumor, though unsubstantiated, took hold and was repeated in several major media outlets, including a story on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Report.” Even with all this coverage, the rumor has never been confirmed, and in fact, a spokesman for George Soros’ Open Society Foundation has now come out saying there is no truth whatsoever to the rumors.
An article in The Daily Beast quoted Ken Zimmerman, who is the Director of US Programs at the Open Society, which is Soros’ liberal leaning charitable foundation, as saying that while he really can’t speculate on the rumor, he does know for sure that it is “wrong.”
Zimmerman pointed out that even beyond the unlikeliness of George Soros’ funding activities during protests (“we don’t fund protests, per se”), the assumption that the group has given $33 million to Black Lives Matter is just wrong. “I don’t know where one begins to reconstruct something like that,” he said.
Black Lives Matter is an amorphous protest group at this time, which includes blogs and in person meet ups to protest rallies and Facebook pages. The decentralized nature of the “group” makes it impossible to put a finger on where $33 million would even be given.
George Soros has given support to the Hillary Clinton campaign, however, helping her PAC raise $2 million. It’s this and the protests against Sanders that are part of what lead to the rumors.
Again, Soros Open Society Foundation has given over $826 million to broad-base charities domestically and abroad. The Black Lives Matter group, however, is not one of the groups on that list.