During the first week of June, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) received a generous $25 million donation from conservative/libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch.
At a time when historically black colleges and universities are struggling to obtain funding for hopeful African Americans students, you would think that the UNCF and other prominent African American leaders would rejoice over the fifth largest donation in UNCF history.
Instead, the reaction to the $25 million donation has been anything but thankful. Some individuals on twitter wrote “UNCF literally sells ‘their soul to the devil’ accepting checks from the Koch Brothers without knowing their evil history” or “Koch donation to UNCF tells children everywhere that money is first and integrity is unnecessary.”
Executive director of Color for Change, Rashad Robinson, said, “Charity is not justice. Giving someone a check at the end of spending years putting in laws to suppress them is not justice. It's cover. It's maybe allowing the Kochs to sleep well at night.”
President of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFL-CIO), Lee Saunders, wrote a letter to President of UNCF, Dr. Michael Lomax, severing all ties between the two groups.
Saunders wrote, “Therefore it is with the deepest regret that I write to notify you that we must sever our partnership. We are doing this as a result of actions you have taken as president of the UNCF that are not only deeply hostile to the rights and dignity of public employees, but also a profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement.”
Apparently Mr. Saunders believes that donating $25 million to help send African American boys and girls to college is a “betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement!”
Since when did empowering black kids with the opportunity to expand their education become a violation of civil rights? Mr. Saunders falsely argues that since the Koch Brothers have fought for voter identification laws, they must be racist against African Americans.