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.
The Law of Unintended Political Consequences Strikes Again https://t.co/Cla3XF3N5q
— Thomas Edsall (@Edsall) January 5, 2022
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.
This is the largest amount of philanthropy ever spent on one cause in such a short period — probably by a factor of 10.
This institutional caving-in to bogus theories of racial inequity and victimhood is mind-blowing and also poses a great danger to Democrats because these causes are so far left of where even their voters are, much less where everyday Americans are.
Some liberal strategists worry about unintended political consequences from this surge in virtue signaling.
Matt Bennett, senior vice president of Third Way, a center-left think tank, told Edsall:
“Whether inadvertent or not, some progressive foundations are funding work that is shortsighted and harmful to the long-term progress they hope to achieve. 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.”
And it’s all failing, too.
“Defund the Police” was voted down in Minneapolis two months ago and performed worst in areas with the largest black populations — where a whopping 61% opposed. Wealthier, liberal strongholds supported the preposterous amendment to disband the city’s police department by a 57-43 margin.
Edsall later quotes New Republic editor Michael Tomasky, who recently wrote, “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.”
Correct, and white guilt elites still refuse to understand that the most moderate Democrat voters are disproportionately Latino and black.
“For leaders of the Democratic Party, these developments pose a particularly frustrating problem because they pay an electoral price for policy proposals and rhetoric that are outside party control,” Edsall aptly concluded.
The entire story is worth your time.