Union Cuts Ties to United Negro College Fund Over Kochs Donations

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 10 2014 4:58 PM

Union Cuts Ties to United Negro College Fund Over Kochs Donations

450129448-activists-hold-a-protest-near-the-manhattan-apartment
UNCF is struggling with one, too.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Early in the afternoon, BuzzFeed's Jacob Fischler scooped one of the most dramatic skirmishes in the war between liberals and David and Charles Koch. One month ago, the United Negro College Fund announced a $25 million "Koch scholars program," funded by the company and Charles Koch's foundation, "aimed at broadening educational opportunities so that aspiring African American students can better understand how entrepreneurship, economics, and innovation contribute to well-being for individuals, communities, and society." 

Some predictable trolling followed. Conservatives like to point out that the Kochs have spent far more on charity and the arts over their lifetimes than they've spent on politics since 2009. Did liberals hate the Kochs so much that they'd condemn their donation to black students? Did they? Did they?

Advertisement

Yes, they did. Fischler reported on a letter (delivered by hand) in which D.C.-based AFSCME cut ties with the D.C.-based UNCF. The letter is in itself remarkable, going on for ages about how taking money from the Kochs violated the UNCF's values and betrayed the civil rights movement.

Koch PR did not respond when I asked about the letter, and UNCF would only send over a statement.

"UNCF has over 100,000 donors with a wide range of views," said UNCF CEO Dr. Michael Lomax, "but they all have one thing in common: they believe in helping young students of color realize their dreams of a college education. For over 70 years we have never had a litmus test and we have asked all Americans to support our cause."

I also asked Murray's office what he thought of being held up as a symbol of institutional racism. I'll assume he's against it.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 8:51 AM The Male-Dominated Culture of Business in Tech Is Not Great for Women
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 9:00 AM Exclusive Premiere: Key & Peele Imagines the Dark Side of the Make-A-Wish Program
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.