Popular Crowdfunding Website Takes a Side in the ‘War on Cops’
YouCaring shuts down page for wounded officer's lawsuit, hosts dozens of 'Black Lives Matter' campaigns
The website YouCaring, which describes itself as a company fostering “compassionate crowdfunding,” has sent a loud and clear message to law enforcement officers across the country: It finds pro-police causes to be too “controversial” to host.
On Sunday the crowdfunding site removed donation pages set up by Donna Grodner, a lawyer who is suing Black Lives Matter and its leaders. Their legal action is on behalf of Baton Rouge police officers who were targeted for assassination by assailants inspired by Black Lives Matter rhetoric.
“In alignment with our mission, we removed this fundraiser because it was not within our community guidelines around promoting harmony,” YouCaring chief marketing officer Maly Ly told PBS in an email. “We are not the right platform to air grievances, or engage in contentious disputes or controversial public opinion.”
But despite Ly's claims that YouCaring does not support content that "promotes discord," the site is currently host to nearly 30 fundraisers tied directly to Black Lives Matter.
These fundraisers are seeking money for activities and organizations such as: BLM Cambridge's Summer 2017 Action Plan, Black Lives Matter DC, Black Lives Matter LA's "Youth Activist Camp & Resistance Space," and Black Lives Matter Gary's (Indiana) "Malcolm X community celebration." Of particular note, YouCaring continues to host a fundraiser seeking $10,000 for Baton Rouge's Black Lives Matter chapter.
Law enforcement advocates and scholars slammed the hypocrisy of the decision.
"If YouCaring has indeed funded Black Lives Matter campaigns, then its rationale for canceling the anti-Black Lives Matter fundraiser — that YouCaring avoids 'promoting discord' — is the height of hypocrisy," said Heather Mac Donald, Manhattan Institute fellow and author of "The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe."
"The idea that we ought to avoid 'discord' in public debate ... is the equivalent of the idea that we ought to avoid thinking and take tranquilizers instead."
"Black Lives Matter calumnies have sowed anti-cop hatred that officers now regularly encounter as they try to bring safety to inner-city neighborhoods," Mac Donald told LifeZette. "Officers getting out of their cars to conduct a pedestrian stop or to investigate an accident scene find themselves routinely surrounded by hostile, jeering crowds, cursing at them, sometimes throwing things at them."
Mac Donald drew a clear line of comparison between an increase in the number of cop-killings and BLM's rhetoric.
"Gun murders of officers rose 53 percent last year, the result of the animosity fueled by the Black Lives Matter narrative that policing is lethally racist," she said.
"That YouCaring sees Black Lives Matter as non-'controversial,' as not engaged in 'contentious disputes,' to quote its spokesman, is a reflection of the skew in the elite liberal worldview that takes its own foundational ideas about endemic American racism and oppression as neutral and factual, and any challenge to them as ideologically charged and suspect," Mac Donald continued.
Grodner's page was asking for help raising $20,000 to cover some legal costs of the suit, which seeks $75,000 in damages from five Black Lives Matter founders, including Deray McKesson, Alicia Garza, and Johnetta Elzie. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an unnamed officer who was shot multiple times and disabled permanently during the July 17, 2016 ambush of police officers in Baton Rouge.
On that day, Gavin Eugene Long shot six police officers amidst ongoing protests after the death of Alton Sterling, a black man, at the hands of police officers. The lawsuit alleges that Black Lives Matter's anti-police rhetoric created the conditions ripe for anti-police feeling to turn into physical anti-police violence.
But to YouCaring, the cause was too controversial to host.
"We exist to empower people and communities to rally positive financial, emotional, and social support," Ly wrote. "While different viewpoints are a part of life, you should make efforts to ensure that the content of your fundraiser does not promote discord." (go to page 2 to continue reading)