Lenin famously said that capitalists would sell the rope that Communists would use to hang capitalists. But it turns out his imagination failed him: who knew that capitalists would pay for the rope with which the revolutionary left will kill capitalism.
Liberal political analyst Thomas Byrne Edsall, who along with David Shor, Ruy Teixeira, and a handful of other liberals of relative sobriety, notes today in the New York Times the huge increase in contributions to “racial equity” causes since George Floyd’s death. Using data assembled by an organization called Candid, the numbers are staggering:
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.”
Among the top funders, according to Candid’s calculations, 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.
Let that sink in: in a little more than a year, capitalist philanthropy to radical racial causes was three times larger than the total philanthropy of the previous decade. (Don’t hold your breath for a close accounting of how the money is spent.)
Given that Black Lives Matter, and Ibram Kendi, explicitly stand for expropriation and the destruction of capitalism, one realizes how fully weak-minded our corporate and philanthropic overlords have become.
But maybe this is a secret diabolical plot to blow up the Democratic Party? “Defund the Police” worked so well for them in the 2020 election cycle. Edsall thinks this flood of dollars to radical organizations is very bad for Democrats:
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.” . . .
Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, argued in a phone interview that no consideration is — or can be — given to partisan political consequences:
We make no calculations about how our grantees give credibility or not to the Democratic Party. That is of no concern to the Ford Foundation, or to me personally.
Walker continued: “We support organizations that are working toward more justice and more inclusion in America, but we have no interest in the Democratic Party’s strengths or weaknesses.”
I asked Walker 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.
If Darren Walker didn’t exist, Karl Rove and Steve Bannon have to invent him.