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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Response to Mr. Craig:

Response+to+Mr.+Craig%3A

By: Omar K. Elmore, Staff Writer

Dear Editor,

My family and I had a wonderful day on Wofford’s campus during homecoming activities on Oct. 22. What a beautiful day but a heartbreaking loss in the football game. Thankfully we have a good chance to finish out the rest of the season strong.

I picked up a copy of the Old Gold and Black while on campus and enjoyed reading it. One article in particular caught my attention. It was bout the new Black Lives Matter (BLM) group on campus. I thought the article was interesting, but it does raise many questions for me. The BLM movement nationally is a pretty controversial, divisive and even violent movement.

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Curiously enough, a major funder of the BLM movement is white billionaire, George Soros. Mr. Soros is a well-known anti-American agitator and has funded many shadow groups in the U.S. that have sought to create division among people groups and undermine American sovereignty. I, for one, am curious to why he is providing such substantial funding to BLM and what his motives are.

Additionally, at BLM rallies at other locations, BLM leaders have advocated violence and have lead groups in such chants as, “Oink, oink, bang, bang,” and “What do we want? Dead cops!” I know that has not happened on Wofford’s campus yet, but I am terrifically concerned that something that starts out seemingly benign would foster this kind of mentality amongst Wofford students.

I would be interested in a follow-up article by your staff that would investigate these and other questions I have included below my name. I think doing so would provide a great service to the Wofford community and the student body and provide some additional perspectives.

Thoughtfully yours,

MC Craig

 

In 2015, Borealis Philanthropy, a nonprofit philanthropic intermediary announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund [BLMF]. As described on its website, the BLMF is “a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition.” Basically, the philanthropic group supports the Black Lives Matter movement by providing funding for Black-led racial justice groups. The mission statement of the fund is as follows:

BLMF provides grants, movement building resources, and technical assistance to organizations working [to] advance the leadership and vision of young, Black, queer, feminists and immigrant leaders who are shaping and leading a national conversation about criminalization, policing and race in America.

One of the early donors to this fund was George Soros, an international businessman and billionaire. Enigmatic to most, Soros’ funding certainly plays a huge role in the advancement of racial justice groups and as such, it is worth looking into who he is and what he does.

Soros grew up in Hungary with working-class parents during a time of political unrest. He managed to survive tumultuous times and attended the London School of Economics. He went on to make his wealth in business, trading European stocks and eventually making enough to start his own fund.

Soros has since become a face of Liberalism and the American progressive. He first dabbled in politics in Eastern Europe by putting up thousands of dollars to help transform the area from communist economies to capitalist systems. In America, he donated to various Democratic organizations to help solidify a Democrat victory in the 2004 election. Other contributions include a million-dollar donation to fund Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana in California and another million-dollar donation to a super PAC backing President Obama’s reelection in 2012.

His latest contribution includes $33 million to BLMF. This should be no shock as Soros has been vocal about criminal justice reform, especially regarding police-community relationships. His leftist views have obviously influenced his charitable contributions.

Of course, Soros is not popular with conservatives, deemed a “liberal fanatic” by several pundits. Apart from his investments in liberal causes, Soros has drawn criticism for his aggressive investment strategies, shorting huge markets and profiting from crashes in those markets.

However, this does not make Soros as dangerous a character as some right-wing media outlets would have you believe. Soros is an example of the costs of capitalism where some prosper and some fail. He is an example of the controversial influence of money on politics. In other words, Soros isn’t bad, only a reflection of the system.

Soros’ donations to BLMF, or any organization for that matter, are his right. Using money to influence political causes is protected under the First Amendment regarding freedom of speech.

Even those that oppose the Black Lives Matter movement can get behind some of Soros’ charitable work in that area. Earlier this year, a study found that he donated $650,000 to aid in Baltimore police reform after the death of Freddie Gray. Gray was arrested for having an illegal switchblade and, somehow, as the police were transporting him, he suffered damages to his spine and eventually died due to his injuries.  Though the six officers involved were initially charged, three were found innocent, one’s trial ended in a mistrial, and the other charges were dropped. In the aftermath of this incident, as riots ensued in Baltimore, Soros donated money to help with police reform including requiring police to wear body-cameras and reducing the practice of lethal force used on petty criminals.

In a memo, Soros explained his reasoning: “recent events offer a unique opportunity to accelerate the dismantling of structural inequality generated and maintained by local law enforcement and to engage residents who have historically been disenfranchised in Baltimore City in shaping and monitoring reform.”

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