U.K. Activist Faces Jail Time for Using Donations For Personal Expenses 

Daniel Samray / shutterstock.com
Daniel Samray / shutterstock.com

The corruption in Black Lives Matter knows no bounds, or in this case, knows no national borders. Twenty-three-year-old United Kingdom BLM activist Xahra Saleem was convicted on fraud charges after spending almost $40,000 of charitable donations for fast food, hair appointments, and other personal expenses. 

As initially disclosed by The Guardian, Saleem played a crucial role in establishing a GoFundMe campaign to collect funds for Changing Your Mindset, a charitable organization dedicated to aiding underprivileged youth. The main goal of the fundraising campaign was to provide financial support for weekly assistance sessions and to sponsor a trip to Africa for disadvantaged Black kids. 

Saleem assumed a prominent position as one of the key organizers of a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Bristol, England, in June 2020. The protest involved removing a statue depicting Edward Colston, a 17th-century figure engaged in the slave trade. The monument was thrown into Bristol Harbour in solidarity with the George Floyd protests in the United States. 

Leading up to the protest, Saleem created a fundraising platform intended to acquire masks for protestors so they could comply with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions during the demonstration.  

Instead of using the money for charity, Saleem moved the funds into her personal bank accounts. She then spent the money on rent, take-out food, Amazon purchases, hair appointments, an iPhone, and an iMac. She also used just over £5,600, or around $ 7,000, for Uber rides. In total, Saleem misappropriated £30,000, or nearly $40,000, of charitable funds for personal use. 

According to the BBC, in June 2021, Saleem expressed regret for her actions during a WhatsApp conversation, writing, I have done something horrendous; you can’t tell anyone until I have properly sorted it out.” Investigators also found several drafts of apology messages in her phone. 

When her actions were revealed, Saleem concocted multiple excuses for the fraud, including claiming psychosis and stating that BLM told her not to use the money for its intended purpose. 

Judge Michael Longman expressed that Saleem had harmed the donors, her fellow charity colleagues, and the young individuals who were meant to benefit from the efforts of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) cause. 

In a victim impact statement. Rebecca Scott, an associate who had assisted Saleem in arranging the BLM protest in Bristol, expressed the disappointment felt by herself and other BLM colleagues. She explained that the group was deeply impressed by the amount of money raised for the demonstration and believed it presented an opportunity to make a significant difference. Scott noted that she and other directors were left feeling “complicit” in the situation. This collective sentiment eventually led to the difficult decision to close Changing Your Mindset, as reported by The Guardian. 

Tragically, one of the young individuals who had received assistance from the charity later passed away, prompting another director of the organization to reflect on the possibility that the misused donations could have saved the young person’s life. 

Saleem now faces two and a half years in prison. 

But her story is just the latest in an ongoing tale of BLM’s fraudulent use of charitable donations. In May 2022, Canadian investigators discovered that the organization had used $12 million in charitable donations for luxury mansions in Toronto and Los Angeles, per tax documents.  

The Canadian branch of BLM purchased a 10,000-square-foot downtown property in Toronto for $6.3 million. The acquisition was part of an $8 million “out of country grant” in North America allegedly to support Black communities. 

While it remains unclear where the remaining $1.7 million from the “out of country grant” was used, sources indicated that BLM had also acquired a luxury condo in the Bahamas in the same beach-front resort as Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake. The group’s IRS filing also reveals that the organization secretly purchased a $6 million Los Angeles mansion with a soundstage, six bedrooms, and a swimming pool. BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors admitted using the property for swanky soirees, including a birthday party for her son and a party to celebrate President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory. She paid just $390 to use the property for her celebrations. 

The story is more proof that BLM is far from a reputable organization, with deep pockets and false promises made to take money from Black Americans. In addition to the violence they encourage, BLM is a fraudulent front for unchecked corruption. 

This story underscores that BLM falls far short of being a reputable organization, as it utilizes substantial resources and unfulfilled promises to siphon funds away from the very Black community it claims to support, ultimately benefiting its organizers. Beyond the endorsement of violence, BLM appears to be nothing more than a deceptive façade concealing unchecked corruption.