One civil rights website is not backing down after GoFundMe.org threatened to sue them for criticizing their facilitation of online fundraisers for Darren Wilson.
ColorOfChange.org was not satisfied to remain silent when GoFundMe did nothing to stop campaigns to support Darren, who gunned down unarmed Black teen Michael Brown, back in August. Since the fundraisers were posted more than seven weeks ago, Darren’s supporters have raised more than $400,000 for the disgraced Ferguson, Missouri, police officer.
The fundraiser has since been closed, but for reference, that is more than Michael’s supporters were able to raise for his family. People seemingly couldn’t give quickly enough to Darren’s campaign as it surpassed several of its earning goals in a matter of days.
Seeing as how Darren, a White officer, shot Michael dead in the street, ColorOfChange.org questioned GoFundMe’s morality for seemingly supporting a killer. The civil rights group even pointed to GoFundMe’s policy that it will not allow “items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime” on its website.
It seems the crowd-funding website took exception to the inquiry and threatened ColorOfChange.org with legal action. “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,” a rep for the website said in a statement, asserting that they have already taken the matter to their legal counsel. “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.”
Taking a page from their opponent, ColorOfChange.org has decided that it will do some fundraising of its own to fight this prospective legal battle. “Our campaign targeting GoFundMe started when people started giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to Michael Brown’s killer, celebrating his death. We were disgusted and outraged,” the organization stated on its website. “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.”
It added in conclusion, “This is about David vs. Goliath: a civil rights group taking on a big tech company. Or a civil right group taking on a shadowy, corporate-backed lobbying operation.”