- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Black Futures Lab, a liberal initiative launched by a Black Lives Matter co-founder, lists as its financial sponsor the pro-China Chinese Progressive Association, raising questions about the extent of China’s support for the increasingly powerful protest movement.

The 2-year-old Black Futures Lab, founded and headed by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, describes itself on its website as a “fiscally sponsored project of the Chinese Progressive Association,” a left-wing group with ties to the People’s Republic of China.

Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez, who made the connection in a Tuesday report in The Daily Signal, said the San Francisco-based Chinese Progressive Association from the start “has been a promoter of the People’s Republic of China.”

“We know that they work with the PRC,” Mr. Gonzalez told The Washington Times. “They cooperate with them on events, and they push the Beijing line here in the United States.”

China has made no secret of its support for the Black Lives Matter movement. It has cheered on the demonstrators and slammed U.S. “racism and police violence” in the Chinese Communist Party outlet China Daily.

“China is, after all, a rival of the United States, and would see weakening of U.S. society and the country in general as advantageous,” said Mr. Gonzalez, author of the 2020 book “The Plot to Change America.” “The involvement of an outfit as closely associated with the Chinese government in the funding of one of Garza’s ventures is something else entirely, however.”

Ms. Garza co-founded what is now the Black Lives Matter Global Network, which has 15 U.S. chapters and others in Canada, Australia and Europe. Co-founder Patrisse Cullors described herself and Ms. Garza in a 2015 interview as “trained Marxists.”

The Black Futures Lab promotes a liberal policy and political agenda. It partners with the BLM Global Network as well as the Movement for Black Lives, which declares “we are anti-capitalist” and calls for “a radical realignment of power.”

“It is clear, then, that CPA works with China’s communist government, pushes its agenda here in the United States and is regularly praised by China’s state-owned mouthpieces,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “It is clear, too, from this perspective, why the CPA would sponsor a new enterprise by Garza: They espouse the same desire for world communism.”

Ms. Garza also serves as a senior adviser to the WNBA’s newly formed Social Justice Council.

The Chinese Progressive Association also has been vocal in supporting Black Lives Matter. It has criticized “police violence” and said the “very people who are supposed to protect our communities have instead been the perpetrators of violence against Black people.”

“As Chinese immigrants, we know that racism and exploitation run deep in this country,” the Chinese Progressive Association said in a June 10 statement. “For hundreds of years, our families were banned from immigrating to this country.”

The Washington Times has reached out to the Chinese Progressive Association and Black Futures Lab for comment.

As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the Chinese Progressive Association is not required to disclose its donors, but its 2018 tax form posted on ProPublica listed $4.7 million in revenue and grants, up from $3.4 million in 2017.

The association, founded in 1972 during “the heady days of the Marxist-oriented Asian American Movement,” has partnered with China on initiatives such as offering renewals of Chinese passports at its Boston office in conjunction with the Chinese Consulate.

The organization has also hosted ceremonies raising the PRC flag at Boston City Hall, including a September 2019 event in “celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China,” as shown on video posted online by Camp Constitution.

That event drew a crowd of protesters who objected to China’s treatment of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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