A “trained Marxist” founder of Black Lives Matter has teamed up on a new venture with a pro-Chinese Communist Party organization. Alicia Garza is now behind the advocacy group Black Futures Lab, which is backed by the Chinese Progressive Association, according to the website.
The group says it “gathers information about the ways that policy affects black communities” to educate and challenge lawmakers. On a page soliciting donations, the group is described as a “fiscally sponsored project of the Chinese Progressive Association.”
The Black Futures Lab didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the partnership. Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors once described herself and Garza as “trained Marxists.”
“We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk,” Cullors said in the interview with Jared Ball of The Real News Network.
The Chinese Progressive Association describes itself as working to “build collective power with other oppressed communities to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people.” But the group has ties to the People’s Republic of China, where there’s been a history of mistreatment of black people.
Recently, there were reports of xenophobia against Africans living in Guangzhou who were subject during the pandemic to random coronavirus testing or quarantined for 14 days in their homes, despite having no symptoms or contact with known patients, CNN reported.
The US State Department issued an advisory in May noting that law enforcement in China had ordered bars and restaurants not to serve people who appear to be of African origin.
“The US Consulate General advises African-Americans or those who believe Chinese officials may suspect them of having contact with nationals of African countries to avoid the Guangzhou metropolitan area until further notice,” the advisory said.
The Chinese Progressive Association, however, has held events with and supporting the government.
The group, which has been repeatedly praised by state-run media, backed raising the Chinese flag over Boston’s City Hall last year to celebrate the anniversary of the Communist Party’s takeover of China, and held a joint event with the People’s Republic of China to help Chinese nationals renew their passports, the Washington Times reported.