Jaw-Dropping: Almost $25 Billion In Donations For “Racial Justice” And Related Causes Since George Floyd Death
Unintended consequences: Ford Foundation among those explicitly funding Critical Race Theory programming, which may have cost Democrats the Virginia Governor’s race.
I knew there was a boatload of money flowing toward various race-related and “social justice” activist groups and programs since George Floyd’s death in late May 2020. We see it particularly in education, where the flow of money to racialize K-12 seems endless. Contrary to the endless jabber by teachers union messaging guides and politicians like Sheldon Whitehouse, it is the left-wing that is floating in a sea of money.
Just eyeballing it I’ve repeatedly estimated the funding to left-wing education activist groups in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and that’s not counting union spending. But I may be severely underestimating the cash flow to the education activist sector considering that almost $25 billion has been donated mostly to race-related activist groups and causes in the past two years.
I first saw that jaw-dropping number in an article at PJ Media by Ari Kaufman, New York Times Offers Stunning Report on Left-Wing Racial Fundraising:
Thomas Edsall, one of the few decent contributors at the New York Times, published a valuable piece of journalism Wednesday on the sheer size of philanthropic commitment to left-wing “racial justice” measures.
With nearly 3,000 words of interviews and assorted content, he explores how much money — nearly $25 billion it turns out — was donated by progressive elites to divisive racial endeavors after the May 2020 killing of George Floyd.
Before Floyd’s death, Candid — a website for wealthy “people who want to change the world with the resources they need to do it” — said philanthropic entities provided about $3 billion in “racial equity funding” from 2011-19. Since then, Candid found, “50,887 grants valued at $12.7 billion” and “177 pledges valued at $11.6 billion.”
Among the top funders are the Ford Foundation, at $3 billion; Mackenzie Scott, at $2.9 billion; JPMorgan Chase & Co. Contributions Program, at $2.1 billion; W.K. Kellogg Foundation, $1.2 billion; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $1.1 billion; Silicon Valley Community Foundation, $1 billion; Walton Family Foundation, $689 million; The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, $438 million; and the Foundation to Promote Open Society, $350.5 million.
Next time you hear Democrats complain about “right wing dark money” corrupting our system, keep these numbers in mind.
As Kaufman points out, the NYT write up points to the downside of all this money — it’s empowering the elements of the radical left who are damaging Democrat electoral chances by driving moderates away (e.g. defund the police) and turning the radical left against the mere left of the Democrat Party.
Here are some key excerpts from Thomas Edsell’s “Opinion” column, The Law of Unintended Political Consequences Strikes Again:
The killing of George Floyd and the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests that followed drove an exceptionally large increase in foundation grants and pledges to criminal and racial justice reform groups and other causes, ranging from the United Negro College Fund to the Center for Antiracist Research and from the National Museum of African American History to the Yes 4 Minneapolis campaign to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.
Candid — a website that connects “people who want to change the world with the resources they need to do it” — published “What does Candid’s grants data say about funding for racial equity in the United States?” by Anna Koob on July 24, 2020.
Before Floyd’s death, Candid found that philanthropies provided “$3.3 billion in racial equity funding” for the nine years from 2011 to 2019. Since then, Candid calculations revealed much higher totals for both 2020 and 2021: “50,887 grants valued at $12.7 billion” and “177 pledges valued at $11.6 billion.” …
There are Democratic strategists who worry about unintended political consequences that could flow from this surge in philanthropic giving. Rob Stein, one of the founders of the Democracy Alliance, an organization of major donors on the left, argued in a phone interview that while most foundation spending is on programs that have widespread support, “when progressive philanthropists fund groups that promote extreme views like ‘defunding the police’ or that sanction ‘cancel culture,’ they are exacerbating intraparty conflict and stoking interparty backlash.” The danger, according to Stein, is that “some progressive politicians and funders are contributing to divisiveness within their ranks and giving fodder to the right.”
That’s the big NYT takeaway, all this money is counterproductive if the goal is advancing the Democrat Party. Edsell quotes and links to a variety of left-wing authors and consultants, including:
Matt Bennett, senior vice president of Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank, argued in an email:
Whether inadvertent or not, some progressive foundations are funding work that is shortsighted and harmful to the long-term progress they hope to achieve. We recognize that every successful movement has people and institutions playing a variety of roles. There are folks whose job it is to push the envelope and others whose job it is to work within the system to make change. Some need to push the envelope and some need to assemble the compromise that can pass. That’s all part of the process.
However, Bennett continued, “It’s crystal clear that some ideas being pushed by activists and funded by lefty foundations go beyond that paradigm, treading into territory that is flat-out politically toxic and that undermine our collective goals.”
* * *
Michael Tomasky, editor of The New Republic, wrote at the end of November, “It’s an undeniable fact that Democratic Party elites, progressive activists, foundation and think-tank officials, and most opinion journalists are well to the left of the party’s rank and file.”
It’s possible, Tomasky continued, “that certain issues, or ways of talking about certain issues, will be established as litmus tests within the party that could be quite problematic for Democrats trying to run in purple districts.”
A lot of the money is flowing directly to support Critical Race Theory, which of course contributed to the Virginia Republican win and will be an issue in the 2022 midterms (emphasis added):
I asked [Darren] Walker [of the Ford Foundation] about the concerns raised by Stein and Bennett. “We support issues that are about progress and inclusion and justice, but the chips fall where they fall,” Walker said.
I also asked Walker about a subject that became a central issue in the 2021 Virginia governor’s race: “critical race theory.” Walker said that the foundation supports proponents of the theory “because we believe there is value in understanding how race is a factor in our legal system,” adding that the foundation does not support the views of its grantees “100 percent of the time, but at the end of the day we believe in certain ideas of justice and fairness in our society.”
So there you have it, the NY Times committed a “random act of journalism” (as Rush Limbaugh would term it) but not on its news pages, in its Opinion section.
What was exposed were truths that we have known for a long time: The left-wing race-based activism has funding of a magnitude right and moderate groups could never even dream of, billionaires and foundations are major funders, and the most radical ideas like defunding the police and CRT are some of the destructive results. The largest brand name foundations are against you and promoting damage to our society.
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