“Community Empowerment” is a Smokescreen for a Naked Power Grab

For most Americans, the assumption is that private charities are set up to serve the public good.  Increasingly, a large group of foundations and wealthy individuals have decided to make it their objective to use charitable organizations to engage in thinly-veiled electoral power politics, using what used to be merely “get out the vote” projects and turning them into “community empowerment” undertakings.

The Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Soros-controlled Open Society Institute and a range of others are working together to make this happen.

These “community empowerment” undertakings are, more often than not, defined by target populations defined by race and class. And even more frequently defined by immigration status. It involves using various funding vehicles to create a huge array of small activist “front group” operations to tackle all sorts of “equality” issues. 

Of course, mass immigration helps create income inequality.  And income inequality fuels the faux outrage that powers the politics of the left. Therefore, immigration-driven income inequality is being advanced now by the left – and boy is it ever.  It forms the basis of their demands for massive redistribution and a restructuring of society.

Looking at major grants of the Ford, the Open Society Institute and the others, it’s clear to see that the “social justice” agenda is really about trying to reorganize society around demographic transformation and political empowerment – mostly clearly targeted at the Democrats. Getting a mass amnesty for over 10 million illegal aliens is vital to that agenda. Moving them into the voting booth is the end goal, and of course, on the left the ends always justify the means.

In her new book, Open Borders, Inc., (Regnery), Michelle Malkin ambitiously lays out how this mentality has now pervaded all of America’s elite institutions, including a huge swath of our nation’s major foundations.  The obsession with delegitimizing the nation-state and its right to secure borders – and especially its right to apprehend illegal aliens in the interior – has become a matter of quasi-religious doctrine. 

In this manner, the existence of immigration restrictions becomes intolerable; our laws now take on the character of a “white hegemonistic power structure,” and “colonization,” and the sooner this can be altered or eliminated the better. 

Hundreds of millions of dollars in grants yearly are now provided to “community organizing” and the provision of legal services for illegal aliens. The size of that population is now affecting not only our political system, but our philanthropy and the public square.  It provides unending “voiceless people” for social change advocates to manipulate in service of a relentless ideology. 

These large foundations and related institutions may find that they are sowing the wind, and will soon reap the whirlwind.  They are creating activist entitles that use bullying, demonization, harassment and, sometimes, violent protest to attack and demonize their opponents.  These activists do not use language to achieve consensus in the American political tradition, they use it to attack and malign in an effort to intimidate and drive those with differing views into the shadows.

But it’s never that simple. Once this force is unleashed, it will be hard to control. The same large foundations and the institutions they support may suddenly find that they themselves become the victims of the attacks, as these activist groups attack all forms of wealth and privilege regardless of politics.

Recently, the Whitney Museum came under fire for having on its board of directors Warren Kanders, someone who manufactures law enforcement equipment.  Radical foundation-funded activists called it “tainted money” and demanded “decolonization,” a strategy sure to chill funding for major cultural institutions in America.  Isolated by the very creations of same foundations, Kanders was forced to resign from the Whitney board.  More will follow.

In advancing a naked “power agenda,” as they call it, these foundations are pushing a dangerous narrative that engenders a mentality that a flawed system is responsible for all people’s problems or society’s inherent inequalities in outcomes. 

Because pushing to abolish all immigration controls is an easy first project for the social justice warriors, the creators of this monster are being lulled into a sense of complacency.  They may soon find the talons of an uncontrollable political force turned back on them – indeed as the Democratic Party is beginning to learn right about now in the 2020 primary process. 

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to ImmigrationReform.com, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar

    Any Republican who pushes for an amnesty is pushing for the end of the party. Those people will vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Same with almost all the legal immigrants and visa workers admitted. They vote the same way. But the crux of the matter is the fact that we are being told to believe that these people somehow are going to turn into solid citizens, in spite of their illegal entry, identity theft to work, and use of welfare to which they are not entitled. We just should believe they will change? Hardly.

    Look at how many politicians of both parties are behind the Fairness For High Skilled Immigrants Act which is nothing of the sort. It’s totally unfair for American tech workers who lose their jobs to lower paid immigrants. It’s always tough talk when they’re running, and then they want to pass this in the Senate with “unanimous consent”. When Marco Rubio ran for Senate in 2010 he ruled out any amnesty on the grounds it would encourage more illegal entry. Didn’t take him long to get behind a mass amnesty two years later. Or Obama who vowed to renegotiate NAFTA in 2008 and then never even brought it up when he won. Total liars.

    And the press never holds them accountable. In fact, the little noted side story to the Ukraine news is that almost no one who watched the mainstream media knew of the tape of Biden bragging that he extorted the president of the Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was investigating the company that was paying 50 thousand a month to his son.

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