Why did Amazon suspend BLM? Beleaguered group no longer one of AmazonSmile charities

AmazonSmile, part of the eCommerce giant, donates a portion of eligible site purchases to charities but has 'had to temporarily suspend' BLM from the platform


                            Why did Amazon suspend BLM? Beleaguered group no longer one of AmazonSmile charities
A demonstrator holds a Black Lives Matter flag outside the Minnesota State Capitol building on May 24, 2021 (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
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Amazon has removed the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) from its charity platform as it failed to show the expenditure of tens of millions in donations it received around two years ago. AmazonSmile, a part of the eCommerce giant that donates a portion of eligible purchases on the site to charities, has said it “had to temporarily suspend” the organization.

An Amazon spokesperson told the New York Post, “States have rules for nonprofits, and organizations participating in AmazonSmile need to meet those rules. Unfortunately this organization fell out of compliance with the rules in several states, so we’ve had to temporarily suspend them from the program until they come into compliance.” The company has also stated that until BLMGNF is “back in compliance”, it won’t release the funds to the group.

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Documents filed with the California Attorney General noted that BLMGNF had received $65 million in donations from Thousand Currents – a charity that “partners with grassroots groups and movements — led by women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples in the Global South — that are creating lasting solutions to our shared global challenges.” But the organization did not disclose where it spent this amount. The non-disclosure then reportedly resulted in a number of states banning BLMGNF from getting more donations.

Not just that, earlier in February, the Department of Justice in California, where BLMGNF is headquartered, called out the group. In a formal delinquency notice to the organization, the state’s Attorney General Rob Bonta said: “The organization BLACK LIVES MATTER GLOBAL NETWORK FOUNDATION, INC. is delinquent with The Registry of Charitable Trusts for failing to submit required annual report(s). An organization that is delinquent, suspended or revoked is not in good standing and is prohibited from engaging in conduct for which registration is required, including soliciting or disbursing charitable funds.”

Meanwhile, the suspension of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation from Amazon has attracted a lot of attention online. A person tweeted, “Why?  Jeff, why?  What's your reason for suspending BLM?  I need to know.  I'm a member.” The second one wrote, “Had I known that I wouldn't have bought one thing from Amazon. I spent alot of money there too.” The third one said, “This is great but we still have a problem, where did all the millions the raised end up going? Not into what they said it was going into from what I have been informed.”

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A user commented, “It’s a super shady group, only getting by as long as they have because of the emotion around their cause and the inability for anyone to criticize them.” Another one tweeted: “Makes sense. Amazon being one of the biggest companies in the world and BLM manifesto wanting to dismantle capitalism.”

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Another tweet read, “temporarily suspend but I bet it ends up being permanent since they can't tell you where the 10 million went no one seems to know but I'll tell you buying dimensions All over America and Canada these people are evil." In the same vein, another critic remarked: “Good idea. Found to be a criminal front handling the donations…such a shame but not surprising…”

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