ICYMI: Racism and the Roots of Conservative Philanthropy in the US

In an Upack the Past feature in Al Jazeera, Donna J. Nicol writes, “From New Deal liberalism in the 1930s to the academic culture wars of the 1980s and the rise of Donald Trump, how White fears of losing power led to philanthropy that openly discouraged discussions of race and diversity.”

Nicol presents how, “philanthropic support led to a new form of political activity known as movement conservatism.” Using the working definition, “Movement conservatives promote the commercial interests of the corporate elite rather than the general interests of the American public by funneling millions of dollars into the creation of foundations and think-tanks that would develop policy analyses and research for politicians.” Summarizing, “This conservative counter-establishment had been working for decades, unbeknown to most of the American public, shaping and redefining the discourse around race in the US. By the time Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency, racial polarization, and the conservative backlash strategy was already firmly entrenched.

Read the full article here.