During a Facebook Live Session sponsored by OneUnited Bank — the largest African-American owned bank in the United States — Dr. Melina Abdullah asserted that institutions such as Wells Fargo and Citibank are “putting the dollars that you give them in the institutions that keep us oppressed” and “if you’re not going to bank black, you are funding white supremacy,” the Daily Wire reports.
— Melina Abdullah (@DocMellyMel) June 13, 2017
Abdullah, a California State University professor and Black Lives Matter organizer, was joined by Teri Williams, the president of OneUnited, and Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin. In an effort to urge fellow African-Americans to bank with OneUnited, Abdullah contends that OneUnited is going “to help us develop a reparations fund for our people” and “help fund the movements that are going to help us get free.” The trio called on the African American community to move all their funds to OneUnited Bank immediately despite it’s history of financial impropriety.
With help from the Federal government, OneUnited has stayed afloat after receiving $12 million from the Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP) in 2008. Shortly after, OneUnited became the focus of a House ethics probe after receiving their TARP bailout. Since then, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has cracked down on top officers, including CEO Kevin Cohee, who is married to Terri Williams.
Cohee purchased a Porsche, a Jaguar, and a $6.4 million beachfront house, all on OneUnited’s dime. What’s more, Cohee was “charged with felonies after his arrest by Santa Monica Police Department on suspicion of possessing cocaine, and concentrated cannabis.” Cohee was able to get these charges dismissed the following year after he completed a drug diversion program. To this day, Cohee remains the CEO of OneUnited Bank.
Most recently, OneUnited announced in February that it has partnered with Black Lives Matter to “organize the $1.2 trillion in spending power of Black people and launch the ‘Amir card.'” The Amir card symbolizes the “continued fight to justice and the power of our [African American] dollars.” Williams contends that “we’re going to ensure that we’re successful in getting them [Black Lives Matters] support.”
Yet, American taxpayers remain on the hook for the $12 million bailout that has yet to be repaid by OneUnited.