According to Bill O’Reilly, Soros was funding the group and encouraging them to protest at the national convention for the Republican party and speeches by Bernie Sanders. O’Reilly suggests that Soros was encouraging the Black Lives Matter movement to disrupt conventions for anyone who might be running against Hillary Clinton, the person Soros has backed for the 2016 election. The rumor seems to be lead by Kelly Riddell, who claims that Soros donated $33 million to the organizations that spurred the creation of BLack LIves Matter.
However, Ken Zimmerman, the director of Soros’ Open Society Foundation, has refuted these claims in an article for The Daily Beast. It turns out that Riddell and Reilly got their facts mixed up. Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza were the three activists who first started the movement after the killer of Trayvon Martin was acquitted, and they did work for an organization founded by Soros. However, the Black Lives Matter movement was created in their own personal time, and was not linked in any way to their work for Soros.
The Black Lives Matter movement is largely a loose collective of activists who raise awareness with speeches, blogs,and protests. The women who were protesting Sanders’ speeches were not linked to the leaders of the movement in any way, they merely used the movement’s rallying cry as part of their protest. Zimmerman points out that there is not even an actual organization for Soros to be donating $33 million to in the first place. Instead, the $33 million dollars that Riddell was discussing actually went to broad-issue charities, such as nonprofit organizations that try to end the war on drugs.
All of the misinformation and confusion surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement has lead to many illogical accusations about who is behind it. There is absolutely nothing to support O’Reilly and Riddell’s claims accusing Soros of using activists for political gain. Instead of donating to groups who just disrupt events, Soros instead focuses on charities and organizations that make real changes.