Union Cuts Ties to United Negro College Fund Over Kochs Donations

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, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

Even by Russian Standards, Moscow’s Anti-War March Was Surprisingly Grim

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 22 2014 12:30 PM Turkey Just Got Forty-Six Hostages Back From ISIS. How Did That Happen?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 12:44 PM The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy
  Life
The Shortcut
Sept. 22 2014 12:31 PM Down With Loose Laces A simple trick to tighten your running shoes for good.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Science
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 12:22 PM The Age of the Streaming TV Auteur
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.