You won’t believe this (from NewsOne.com):
The United Negro College Fund [UNCF] announced a $25 million grant Friday from Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation — a large donation from the conservative powerhouse Koch name that Democrats have sought to vilify heading into the 2014 midterm elections.
The UNCF, known for its iconic motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” supports historically black colleges and universities and provides scholarships.
The article goes on to mention that Black people are a key constituency within the Democratic Party. That’s a well established fact I’m sure the people running the UNCF are aware of. So why, oh why, would they accept even a bag of chips from the Koch’s?
Michael Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF, said that since the organization’s inception in 1944, it has reached out to people of all backgrounds for support without an “ideological lens” because it is in everyone’s interest.
And why, oh why, would the Koch’s even have a Black organization on their radar?
In a statement, Koch said that “increasing well-being by helping people improve their lives has long been our focus” and that the partnership will provide promising students with new educational opportunities.
The Koch Brothers are described as “longtime patrons of libertarian and conservative causes” who have created groups such as Americans for Prosperity to funnel tens of millions of dollars to help the political campaigns of like-minded Republican candidates. So, one obvious question is why the Koch Brothers really donated to an organization that helps young Black students get ahead. It’s safe to assume that we can altogether dismiss their canned press release statement and dig a bit deeper. Are the Koch’s perhaps trying to give themselves a PR makeover? Do they think that such a donation will make Blacks supportive of them and their candidates come election time? Do they have even bigger plans? Do they really think Black people will fall for this?
The other obvious question is why the UNCF accepted the funds. Yes, money is tight for almost everyone these days, but is accepting money from people whose ideology is in direct conflict with your’s worth it? If it were up to me, I’d have put principles first and rejected the donation with a polite but firm public statement saying that we’d rather not take money from people who wish us more harm than good.