Breaking: GoFundMe Threatens ‘Color of Change’ with Lawsuit over Officer Darren Wilson
Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
The internet-based crowd-fundraising site GoFundMe is standing up to the liberal race-baiting group Color of Change, threatening legal action against the group over its “smear campaign” to shut down fundraising for Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.
Color of Change was co-founded by black leftwing radical Anthony K. “Van” Jones in 2005.
GoFundMe also reportedly accuses Color of Change of ‘threatening and intimidating GoFundMe employees.’
Wilson is the white police officer who shot unarmed 18 year old black robber Michael Brown after a confrontation a few minutes after Brown assaulted a clerk while he robbed a convenience store of cigarellos. Wilson has not been charged however he is under a grand jury investigation in to the shooting.
Brown’s shooting death in broad daylight on August 9th garnered worldwide attention as Ferguson erupted in to nightly riots. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder spoke out on the situation in Ferguson with Holder leading the charge in a federal investigation of the shooting and the Ferguson justice system for bias against blacks.
The two GoFundMe pages dedicated to helping Wilson are reported to have raised a combined sum in excess of $400,000 before both pages stopped accepting donations of their own volition.
The International Business Times was first to report Monday about a Sept. 16 letter a lawyer for GoFundMe had sent to Color of Change regarding the group’s efforts to get GoFundMe to stop allowing fundraising for Wilson on its site. The Root, a black news and opinion site, followed with an opinion report on the threat of legal action.
IBT’s Christopher Zara reported on the GoFundMe legal letter:
“In a letter dated Sept. 16 and obtained by International Business Times Monday, a lawyer for GoFundMe accused Color of Change of engaging in a “smear campaign” and threatened to pursue swift legal action if the group does not cease and desist such behavior. Despite the threat, Arisha Hatch, managing director of campaigns for Color of Change, said the group has no plans to back off.
““We know what we have a right to do,” she said. “We’re a nonprofit organization and we can publicly campaign against any corporation.”
“The letter accuses Color of Change of threatening and intimidating GoFundMe employees and defaming the GoFundMe name. Hatch said after discussing the letter with Color of Change’s legal team, the group believes it is within its legal rights. She said the letter is just a scare tactic.
“A spokesperson for GoFundMe did not respond to requests for comment.”
IBT also reported the two groups had been engaged in discussions about changing GoFundMe’s policies but could not reach agreement. Color of Change is planning to follow through on a publicity campaign accusing GoFundMe of profiting from Brown’s death for reportedly taking a small percentage of donations as a fee. Color of Change’s plans include a using a billboard near GoFundMe’s San Diego office.
The Root article included a Color of Change ‘press release’ that reads as a fundraising appeal. The link in the Root article goes to a Color of Change fundraising page that features an appeal to help fund the group’s defense that has similar verbiage to the fundraising ‘press release’ posted by the Root.
“But then last week GoFundMe’s lawyers sent us a Cease and Desist letter, threatening the ColorOfChange community and the movement for racial justice we’re working to build together.
‘We’ve been talking to our legal team and they confirm that ColorOfChange—as a civil rights organization—has right to publicly criticize any corporation. GoFundMe can’t take that away from us. Our lawyers say that this Cease and Desist letter is a scare tactic meant to silence us and squash our campaigns…”
“…But now this campaign is about so much more. It’s about our broken justice system that moves swiftly when a Black person is accused, but at a snail’s pace when it’s a white police officer. For example, the Darren Wilson grand jury just got a 60-day extension and now has until early January to decide whether or not to bring charges.”
The author of the Root article, Yesha Callahan disclosed that she donated to the GoFundMe campaign for the late Mike Brown and concluded her opinion report with a slam on alleged ‘white privilege.’
“Wilson, who is still on a paid vacation, could receive more than $400,000 for killing an unarmed black teen thanks to GoFundMe. Now, that’s some good ole white privilege for you.”