Progressive Organizations Continued Pg.2
ACE (Alternatives for Community & Environment)
"ACE builds the power of communities of color and low-income communities in Massachusetts to eradicate environmental racism and classism, create healthy, sustainable communities, and achieve environmental justice...Systemic change means moving beyond solving problems one by one to eliminating the root causes of environmental injustice. ACE is anchoring a movement of people who have been excluded from decision-making to confront power directly and demand fundamental changes in the rules of the game, so together we can achieve our right to a healthy environment."
One of the main funders of ACE is the Boston Bar Foundation, which is "the official charity of the Boston Bar Association." Here is where all of the officers and council members (equivalent to the board of directors) of the Boston Bar Association are listed with brief bios for each. Reading these bios makes it quite evident that these are lawyers who in practically every case have working relationships with big corporations. One of the council members, for example, is Paul T. Dacier, Boston Bar Association President Emeritus. His bio reads:
"Paul is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of EMC Corporation. He is responsible for EMC’s worldwide legal group, which consists of more than 100 attorneys. Paul is a member of the BBA’s Executive Committee and has served as President-Elect, Vice President, and Treasurer of the Council. Under Governor Mitt Romney, Paul was a commissioner of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission. Paul was instrumental in establishing the Business Litigation Session in Suffolk County and is a member and past chair on the board of the New England Legal Foundation. He is a Trustee of the Boston Bar Foundation and the Social Law Library."
So the leadership of one of the main funding organizations of ACE includes Paul Dacier, the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of EMC Corportation. The EMC Corporation is ranked 128 in the top Fortune 500 corporations and had a market value (as of March 31, 2014) of $55.5 Billion. I suppose Mr. Dacier could be a closet egalitarian seeking out egalitarian revolutionary organizations for the Boston Bar Foundation to give money to so that he can help remove the rich from power to have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor. But really, what are the odds? How likely is it that if ACE announced that its goal was egalitarian revolution, Mr. Dacier and his fellow council members at the Boston Bar Association would say, "Oh, great! We want to remove the rich from power too. We'll certainly keep funding you." This isn't exactly the kind of behavior that earned these council member lawyers their reputations for being "responsible" lawyers suitable to be hired as General Counsels to big corporations, is it?
If one looks at the list of the board of directors of ACE, here, and does an internet search for background information on them, one finds that they are mostly young people with just low level job experience and a few are university faculty members with no evident connection to Big Money other than being employed (like most people) by organizations controlled by Big Money. There is nothing online about these people that would suggest that they are not, personally, in favor of an egalitarian revolution (although I have no idea how they actually think about this). But the funding environment in which they work no doubt makes it obvious to them (especially the ones with the most responsibility for leading ACE) that if ACE explicitly advocated egalitarian revolution it would lead to the organization's loss of funding and rapid demise. So they don't advocate egalitarian revolution, even if they personally would love such a revolution. That's how the rich control well-meaning people with progressive organizations.
Open Media Boston
Open Media Boston (discussed above in the Haymarket People's Fund section) describes itself here this way:
Open Media Boston is an online metropolitan news publication dedicated to regularly publishing fair and accurate news, views, arts, entertainment and technology coverage for the Boston, Massachusetts, USA area in text, image, audio and video formats. We are an audience-centered publication with a progressive editorial stance that will constantly solicit submissions and commentary from the general public using the latest social media technology while maintaining professional journalistic standards at all times. We will always strive to balance open participation with editorial control in the service of this goal.
In addition to receiving funds from the Haymarket People's Fund it also receives funds from the Solidago Foundation, whose website is extremely uninformative. According to this website, however, the secretary of the board of directors of Solidago Foundation (as of 2000) is Idelisse Malave, who is (or was) the Executive director of the Tides Foundation. This website reports that Drummond Page, founder and former president of the Tides Foundation, has over the years "served as a director, board member or high-ranking official" of a long list of organizations that includes the Solidago Foundation. And this website reports that Drummond Page was, specifically, a director of Solidago Foundation. Clearly the Solidago Foundation anbd the Tides Foundation are closely linked.
As discussed above, the Tides Foundation acts as an intermediary between the biggest Big Money foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, etc.) and progressive organizations funded by them. Thus Open Media Boston is linked to Big Money by both its Solidago Foundation funder and its Haymarket People's Fund funder. This is yet another reason not to be surprised at two things: 1) Open Media Boston steers clear of the idea that An Injury to One is an Injury to All in the context of race (as discussed in the Haymarket Fund section above), and 2) Open Media Boston steers clear of the idea that most people want an egalitarian revolution to remove the rich from power and have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor. An organization funded by Big Money cannot keep its funds and still have good political views and aims.
Race Amity is a national organization with a very active branch in Boston. In 2013 I and a friend of mine began attending the monthly meetings of Race Amity, held at Wheelock College. The local leader was (is?) Dr. William "Smitty" H. Smith, also a founding executive director of the National Center for Race Amity. The themes of the monthly meetings were about how black and white people can be friends when whites learn how not to be racist in their attitudes and thinking. The slogan for the group was E Pluribus Unum, (From Many, One), emphasizing that Americans are all one family, and consequently suppressing the idea that we are NOT all one family because there are fundamentally conflicting values held by ordinary people versus the wealthy ruling elite.
Each monthly meeting was begun with a ten minute (or so) "convocation" by a different person invited from one of the religious groups in Boston. On one occasion a Jewish woman who was explicitly pro-Zionist gave the convocation, and defended Israel against subsequent denunciations of Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians expressed by my friend and me (with agreement, we later found out, from others in the room). This made me wonder what was going on with Race Amity. It also put me and my friend on Smitty's "shit list."
I later discovered (here) that Race Amity was part of a "Consortium of Equity Conferences" that is "a group of progressive, like-minded organizations" that includes the White Privilege Conference. As I discuss in my article, "Why and How Big Money Promotes 'White Privilege' Rhetoric," the White Privilege Conference is an instrument of the ruling class used to weaken, not strengthen, the effort of people to abolish racial discrimination.
I emailed my friend and another participant in the monthly Race Amity meetings my concerns that Race Amity was connected to, and promoting, a ruling class "divide-and-rule" theme, namely that the labor movement's great insight--An Injury to One is an Injury to All--is wrong because (supposedly) when blacks are treated worse than whites (i.e., racial discrimination) this benefits whites and is a "white privilege" (the word "privilege" means, of course, something by which one benefits.) Race Amity was engaged in hiding the fact that racial discimination is used by the ruling class to create mistrust and resentment between blacks and whites in order to undermine their solidarity and thus make both blacks AND whites easier to dominate and exploit. Instead of explaining to ordinary white people that racial discrimination harmed them, it was telling them that it benefited them--that they were enjoying a "privilege" because of racial discrimination. This Big Lie is crucial for making the divide-and-rule strategy work. And Race Amity was spreading it.
When Smitty heard (from the other participant I sent my email of concern to) that I was talking to people about the problem with White Privilege Conference and Race Amity's connection to it, he immediately told me I was no longer welcome to participate in Race Amity events.
I thought this was rather unfriendly of Smitty, and I wondered why he hadn't, instead, invited me to share my concerns with him privately, if not with others. Why did he just--BOOM!--kick me out?
To find out the explanation for Smitty's behavior I did some google searches. This is what I discovered.
The National Center for Race Amity, founded in January of 2010, received its founding grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. One of the members of the board of trustees of the Kellogg Foundation is Roderick D. Gillum. Here's some interesting information about Mr. Gillum:
Roderick D. Gillum is a Partner in the Detroit office of Jackson Lewis LLP and a member of the Firm’s Corporate Compliance/Governance and Corporate Diversity Counseling Practice Groups.
Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Gillum was a senior member of the General Motors Company (GM) Legal Staff, where he rose to become Secretary to the GM Board of Directors, and later Vice President, Corporate Responsibility & Diversity. In this dual role, Mr. Gillum was at the forefront of the company’s diversity strategies relative to both internal human resources as well as external relations with vendors, minority dealers, and national civil rights and political leaders.
He was often called upon to provide advice and counsel to heads of other Fortune 500 companies, politicians and community/civic leaders. Previously, Mr. Gillum was the Chief Personnel, Benefits and Labor Attorney at GM’s Legal Staff, where he was responsible for all personnel, health care, benefit plans, labor relations and workers’ compensation legal matters, and he oversaw a combined litigation and workers’ compensation budget in excess of $15 million. Among his other responsibilities in this role, Mr. Gillum held overall responsibility for the management and disposition of approximately 225 individual and class action lawsuits and over 300 administrative law matters filed annually; he also coordinated a successful defense to the largest employee benefit case in U.S. history (Sprague vs. GM - Supreme Court review denied, 1998). [my emphasis--J.S.]
What, exactly, was this employee benefit case--the largest in U.S. history--all about, in which Mr. Gillum successfully defended General Motors Corp.?
The case is described here, as follows:
A putative plaintiff class of more than 84,000 non-union retirees 1 of the General Motors Corporation filed suit under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001, et seq., seeking a judgment requiring General Motors to furnish them with basic health care coverage at no cost for their lifetimes and the lifetimes of their surviving spouses. In their complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that General Motors violated the terms of its health care plan and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing or eliminating certain health care coverages beginning in 1988. The plaintiffs also claimed that the changes constituted a breach of General Motors' fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The plaintiffs asserted separate causes of action arising from the same changes based on breach of contract and equitable or promissory estoppel. In addition, the plaintiffs alleged that General Motors violated the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to maintain its health care plan pursuant to a written instrument; refusing or failing to supply requested information; and failing to comply with requirements for summary plan descriptions.
Clearly, based on Mr. Gillum's career, he has been squarely on the side of the corporate elite and not on the side of ordinary working people, and certainly not on the side of ordinary black working people, in their struggles against the corporate elite for more equality in our society that is based on class inequality.
Another trustee of the Kellogg Foundation (Race Amity's founding funder) is Cynthia H. Milligan. Cynthia Hardin Milligan is a director of Wells Fargo bank. The CEO of Wells Fargo is John G. Stumpf. An employee of Wells Fargo writes here:
"In 2010, our CEO, John G. Stumpf received $18,973,722 in total compensation. By comparison, the median worker made $33,190 in 2010. John G. Stumpf made 571 times the median worker’s pay."
To underscore the intimate ties between Race Amity's executive director, William H. "Smitty" Smith and the ruling class, it is interesting to note, as reported here, that
"In 2007 Dr. Smith was selected as the Balfour Scholar by the Balfour Foundation, Bank America Trustee. This honor included a fully sponsored week at the prestigious Aspen Institute, in Aspen Colorado."
As discussed above in the section on the Haymarket People's Fund, the Aspen Institute promotes the "white privilege" theme to undermine awareness that "An Injury to One is an Injury to All" and thereby increase the effectiveness of the ruling class's divide-and-rule strategy based on racial discrimination. Furthermore, the Aspen Institute's President and CEO, Walter Isaacson, is a chair emeritus of Teach for America, an organization that carries out racial discrimination in our public schools, as discussed in the section on the Haymarket People's Fund, and which Black Agenda Report's Bruce Dixon describe this way:
"Teach For America is part of an elite bipartisan scam to privatize public education, starting, and perhaps ending with the inner city. TFA replaces qualified, experienced mostly black teachers who live in the communities they serve with mostly white temps, graduated from a 5 week course who will move on to Wall Street and other lucrative careers after only a couple seasons in the classroom.
"Closing public schools and replacing experienced teachers with Ivy League missionary temps isn't something that's being done to wealthy white suburban public schools. It's only the prescribed remedy for school districts full of black and brown youth, and black and brown teachers."
Now it is clear why Race Amity's leader, "Smitty," kicked me out as soon as he heard I had concerns about how the "white privilege" theme served the ruling class and helped it use racial discrimination to effectively divide and rule ordinary people. "Smitty" is an agent of the ruling class, funded by it and doing its bidding, for which he receives numerous awards such as "a fully sponsored week at the prestigious Aspen Institute in Aspen Colorado." The last thing "Smitty" would allow is for a genuine discussion to take place among Race Amity participants about how to build a movement that unifies people of all races with the understanding that An Injury to One is an Injury to All. The last thing "Smitty" wants is for his Race Amity organization to be used to remove the rich from power and have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor. This is not what the Kellogg Foundation and Aspen Institute folks want, and "Smitty" knows it, even if the ordinary participants in Race Amity don't.
Yes! Magazine says of itself,
"YES! Magazine reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions. Online and in print, we outline a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world."
Who funds Yes!? One of its funders is GMA Foundations. At the bottom of the "about us" page of the GMA Foundations' webpage--here--there appears a logo and the words, "National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers: A TIDES CENTER PROJECT." Clearly the GMA Foundations is closely linked to the Tides Center. The Tides Center and the Tides Foundation are both entities established by Drummond Pike, as described here. And the Tides Foundation/Center is a conduit from Big Money (Rockefeller, Ford and Heinz Foundations as well as others) to little organizations, as discussed above.
Another source of funds for Yes! is the Wallace Global Fund. The Wallace Global Fund is also intimately connected to the Tides Center as indicated by Wallace Global Fund website pages here and here and here.
"After teaching in the Rudolf Steiner School in New York, he managed a division of Xerox Corp. Mr. Finser then served as Director of Human Resource Development at ITT, with worldwide responsibility for the development and placement of more than 10,000 of its executives. Since then he has consulted with major corporations and advised clients for RSF." [my emphasis--J.S.]
Yes! Magazine is thus funded by essentially the same Big Money sources as most other progressive organizations. Its funders travel in circles containing people such as Siegfried Finser, who managed a division of Xerox Corporation and served as a director of human resource development at ITT corporation--jobs not given to people aiming to remove the rich from power! This is why Yes! Magazine, while seeming to be about making a more equal and democratic world, does not ever say anything that would truly challenge the power of the rich who fund it. If Yes! Magazine actually advocated removing the rich from power to have real not fake democracy with no rich and no poor, then much of its current funding would dry up. Certainly the top leaders of the magazine know this.
Postscript: July 29, 2020. Earlier links above are often broken now. Here's some current available information that tells the same story. First, go here to see Yes Magazine's financial statement to get a sense of how much money it needs to operate. Then go here, and use your browser to search for "yes" on this web page (i.e., go to Table 7, item #12), and you will see that from 2010 to 2015 Yes Magazine received $1,241,442 from major foundations. Scroll up a bit to Table 6 and you will see a list of these major foundations; they include the Ford and Gates foundations and other similar ones, NONE OF WHICH ADVOCATE REMOVING THE RICH FROM POWER TO HAVE REAL, NOT FAKE, DEMOCRACY WITH NO RICH AND NO POOR, and none of which would grant money to Yes Magazine if it advocated in a persuasive manner that egalitarian revolutionary goal, obviously.
The Nation Magazine
The Nation is one of the most read progressive magazines. It's editor and publisher and co-owner, Katrina vanden Heuvel, is a member of the ultra-elite and extremely powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). So is her father, William J. vanden Heuvel, who served between 1953 and 1954 as executive assistant to the founder of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Donovan, during Donovan's tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Thailand. The CFR is an organization of, by and for the ruling class. It's website proudly asserts:
"The convening power of CFR is unparalleled, attracting the most prominent world leaders in government and business." - CFR Board Co-Chairs Carla A. Hills and Robert E. Rubin
The CFR is not the kind of organization that anybody who wants to can join. On the contrary, to become a member of the CFR one must submit an application and be accepted. It is an exclusive club. The CFR website says, "Candidates for membership must be nominated in writing by a current CFR member and seconded by a minimum of three (maximum of four) other individuals." Also, "CFR members are required to fulfill annual dues requirements." The CFR membership roster includes David Rockefeller (and five other Rockefellers), Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton (and his daughter Chelsea), Condoleezza Rice, and other such members of, or servants to, the ruling class.
The Nation serves the ruling class by being just "anti-establishment" enough to remain influential among many anti-establishment self-identified "progressives" while at the same time providing its readers with ideological leadership that renders them no threat whatsoever to the ruling class. One way it does this is by promoting race war--in the name of "progressivism"--in the United States.
For example, when the mainly white jury in Florida acquitted George Zimmerman of murder charges in his killing of Trayvon Martin, The Nation headlined its article, "White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman." A truthful headline would have been something like, "Government Fails to Provide Evidence Beyond a Reasonable Doubt of George Zimmerman's Guilt, so the Jury Acquitted him." As discussed here, the jurors were indeed provided no evidence sufficient to enable them to return a guilty verdict. Experts, of all points of view, agreed about this.
By accusing the jurors of acquitting Zimmerman because of "white supremacy" (i.e., racism) The Nation sent the false message to its readers that virtually all white people (the jurors were a random selection of them, after all) are so racist that they will acquit a defendant who is obviously guilty of murder if the defendant is white and the victim is black. This is nothing less than an effort to persuade non-whites that white people are their enemy. This is how The Nation foments race war in the name of progressivism. Undoubtedly, at their secret meetings (and they are secret) the Council on Foreign Relations members express admiration for the terrific job Katrina vanden Heuvel is doing over at The Nation.