Harlem (1964). Watts (1965). East Coast, West Coast. A police shooting and an attempted arrest provide the pretexts for days of massive rioting, looting, arson, death, and destruction. Racism and police brutality, say the rioters/looters (and their supporters in political office, the media, and academia), are responsible for the violence and devastation. The Harlem riots provided the spark for additional riots that year in Chicago, Philadelphia, Rochester, and the New Jersey cities of Paterson, Elizabeth, and Jersey City. The war zone-like wreckage of Watts, a black neighborhood in Los Angeles, became the symbol “inspiring” similar rioting in more than 100 cities over the next three years: 1966 (San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, Omaha), 1967 (Detroit, Newark, New York City, Minneapolis, Grand Rapids, Houston, Milwaukee), and 1968 (Chicago, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Detroit, Washington, D.C.).
Fifty years later: Ferguson (2014), Baltimore (2015). Again rioting, looting, arson, and devastation. Racism and police brutality, say the rioters/looters (and their supporters in political office, the media, and academia), are again to blame. “Systemic racism,” “structural racism” — the type that can only be remedied, claim the critics, by overturning the “exploitation” and “inequality” of our capitalist system and the “racist” brutality it perpetuates in our police departments. And this can only be accomplished, they say, by more government programs and more government spending, especially by the federal government in Washington, D.C. It is also essential, say the protesters and their elite supporters, that the federal government take over the functions of local police, or at least impose national (some are demanding international) standards on local law-enforcement agencies.
To those (such as this writer) who are old enough to have lived through the earlier riots (of the 1960s and beyond) this seems — in the words of Yogi Berra — “like déjà vu all over again.” Not only do we have the same revolutionary rhetoric and the same street tactics producing the same deadly results, but we are seeing, once again, the same alliance of radical thugs in the streets and radical suits in the suites. The same tax-exempt foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, etc.) and corporate globalists who funded the incendiary Marxist-Leninist cadres that burned down our cities in the ’60s (leaving millions of black Americans in even more desperate straits) are still shoveling billions of dollars to the radical arsonists who are pouring gasoline on the racial embers today. They are also still funding scholarly reports, studies, commissions, and task forces that, not surprisingly, call for nationalizing and “standardizing” our police powers. In a nutshell, we are witnessing both “pressure from above” and “pressure from below” to demonize and paralyze local police, and to promote the idea that federalizing our police will solve the reputed police crises.
But as we will show in this and other articles in this special magazine issue, it is simply not true that the havoc now threatening to tear apart our country is the result of spontaneous outbreaks in response to “systemic racism” or “police brutality.” Which is not to say that racism and police brutality do not exist. Indeed, I will readily stipulate (though it should not be necessary to do so) that racism and police brutality do exist in the United States of America — much the same as they exist, along with other sins and social pathologies, in every other country on Earth (although, arguably, the United States comes out far better than most other countries in this regard). The point, however, is that the race agitators — both in the streets and in the suites — are exploiting and exaggerating the racism and police brutality issues (and even outright lying about and inventing race/police horror stories) while offering a “solution” (centralizing power in Washington) that will make genuine abuse worse, not better.
The riots and chaos in Ferguson, Missouri, were ignited and stoked by the “Hands up, don’t shoot!” mantra. But it was a lie, as we now know. Three separate autopsies (one by the St. Louis County Office of the Medical Examiner, one by outside expert Dr. Michael Baden, and one by the Department of Defense’s Armed Forces Medical Examiner System), as well as an abundance of additional physical evidence presented to the grand jury, supported the claim of Officer Darren Wilson (who is white) that Michael Brown (the “victim,” who is black) was reaching inside the police vehicle and attacking Wilson and trying to get Wilson’s gun. The forensic evidence also belies the claim that Brown (the “gentle giant” who had only minutes before been caught on video committing strong-arm robbery of a convenience store) was gunned down in cold blood by Officer Wilson while surrendering with his hands up.
The “Hands up, don’t shoot!” lie, which went viral and is still often repeated, is feeding the continued violence and racial turmoil. “That lie holds that the police pose a mortal threat to black Americans — indeed that the police are the greatest threat facing black Americans today,” wrote Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald in her December 2014 City Journal article, “The Big Lie of the Anti-Cop Left Turns Lethal.”
In the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Wilson, she noted, the “New York Times ratcheted up its already stratospheric level of anti-cop polemics. In an editorial justifying the Ferguson riots, the Times claimed that ‘the killing of young black men by police is a common feature of African-American life and a source of dread for black parents from coast to coast.’”
Mac Donald then offers sobering statistics to demonstrate the mendacity of the Times and others making similar claims:
Some facts: Police killings of blacks are an extremely rare feature of black life and are a minute fraction of black homicide deaths. The police could end all killings of civilians tomorrow and it would have no effect on the black homicide risk, which comes overwhelmingly from other blacks. In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the U.S. — almost all killed by black civilians — resulting in a death risk in inner cities that is ten times higher for blacks than for whites. None of those killings triggered mass protests; they are deemed normal and beneath notice. The police, by contrast, according to published reports, kill roughly 200 blacks a year, most of them armed and dangerous, out of about 40 million police-civilian contacts a year. Blacks are in fact killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. In 2013, blacks made up 42 percent of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. The percentage of black suspects killed by the police nationally is 29 percent lower than the percentage of blacks mortally threatening them.
One elected black official who recognizes the lie and the reality of the racism/brutality propaganda is Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. In an interview on Fox News’ Your World With Neil Cavuto, the outspoken sheriff charged that liberal policies, not the death of accused Baltimore drug dealer Freddie Gray, are responsible for the violence in that city.
“Like Baltimore, like Ferguson, like New York and many other areas where failed liberal government policies have led to high unemployment, chronic poverty, failing schools,” Sheriff Clarke said, “this is what besets the Baltimore area. Ninety percent of the homicide victims in the Baltimore area are black as are ninety percent of the suspects. That’s a bigger problem than Freddie Gray.”
He added that the rioters were exploiting Gray’s death, even though they cared nothing for him. “These individuals that are rioting and looting right now and throwing rocks and bottles do not know Freddie Gray, do not care about Freddie Gray,” said the sheriff. “If they were in a nightclub in Baltimore [they] would shoot and kill him for bumping into them on the dance floor.”
The following day on Twitter, Sheriff Clarke stated further: “I am tired of this mealy-mouth crap from politicians. They cause the conditions for a permanent underclass in America.” In another tweet, he said: “Why are we surprised at this sub-human behavior on display in American ghettos? Lib policies created the conditions.”
Sheriff Clarke’s comments, of course, stand in stark contrast to inflammatory bloviations from the liberal media. In an April 30, 2015 column for the Huffington Post entitled “Take the Racial Justice Pledge,” Donna P. Hall, president and CEO of the Women Donors Network, wrote: “The tragedy of lethal police violence against unarmed black men and women has become all too common. The streets of Baltimore scream with outrage over the death of Freddie Gray.... Was the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson not a wake-up call?” Hall called on “the progressive donor community” to fund the proliferation of “racial justice” organizations that are responding to the “epidemic of racially charged police violence.” Hall urged her fellow progressives to fund “Black-led organizing for Black liberation.” Interestingly, Hall is white, as are virtually all of her wealthy donor friends; in fact, every one of the “activists” pictured in the photo on the organization’s web page appealing for “Black-led organizing for Black liberation” is… lily white.
The Women Donors Network is one of numerous funding coalitions of white radicals that are funneling tens of millions of dollars into phony grassroots “black-led” organizations that can be called on to materialize protesters on cue, whether the cause be global warming, minimum wage legislation, abortion rights, homosexual rights, racism, or police brutality. Other funding channels include Bolder Giving, Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training, Neighborhood Funders Group, North Star Fund, Proteus Fund, Resource Generation, Associated Grant Makers, Environmental Grantmakers Association, Grantmakers for Education, Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families, and Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues.
These groups act as money laundries for directed giving to radical groups by major foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Some of the largest donors — Ford Foundation, Tides Foundation, Open Society Foundation (Soros), the Rockefeller foundations, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, et al. — give directly to the street agitators too, but the full extent of their largess is frequently obscured by these third-party funders they utilize as conduits.
On August 16, 2015, The Nation magazine, venerable far-left pipe organ of the establishment, published “The Rebirth of Black Rage,” an op-ed by Mychal Denzel Smith, celebrating the new racial militancy. “As the deaths of young, unarmed black people continue to become headlines, and social media holds more hashtag funerals, the hope has turned to despair, and the despair into rage,” wrote Smith. “That rage consumed the streets of Ferguson when Michael Brown was killed; it set fire to the streets of Baltimore when Freddie Gray was killed.... Black rage is back, cutting to the core of white supremacy and demanding that America change.”
According to Smith and The Nation, “The resurgence of black rage in the political sphere is finally ready to make America face its racist past and present. Or burn it down trying.”
Or burn it down trying! This open endorsement and encouragement by the establishment press of mayhem and destruction is hardly unique; the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, and other “mainstream” organs have run similar (or worse) fare. It is worth noting that the longtime publisher, editor, and part-owner of The Nation is Katrina vanden Heuvel, a member of the ultra-establishment Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the globalist-minded brain trust that has directed much of the media, foundation, and government support for the revolutionary movements that have been rocking our nation for the past five decades.
Smith’s op-ed echoed a much-used theme, one that was also promoted by Ford Foundation president Darren Walker, in a December 12, 2014 column entitled “A pivotal moment for racial justice.” Like The Nation’s vanden Heuvel, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, as have been many of the activists heading the big foundations. According to the man who holds Ford’s hefty purse strings, “We are in a pivotal moment, one filled with opportunity for the racial justice field.... We’re seeing broad-based coalitions coalesce around racism targeting blacks. And we’re seeing emerging leadership that is young, multiracial and national in scope, exercising tactics and strategies that are grounded in a deep analysis of systemic racism and prioritize people-centered democracy.”
“They need and deserve our support,” Walker stated. And, of course, the Ford Foundation is well endowed to provide that support — and has been supporting a myriad of the new radical “racial justice” organizations, just as it has been the principal funder of militant racial groups and Marxist activists for more than half a century.
Ford, for instance, played a seminal role in financing key operatives that sparked and led the 1960s race riots mentioned above, as well as the “student” and “anti-war” riots that erupted on so many college campuses during that same period. One of the main Ford Foundation agents brought in to incite the Harlem riots was virulent black racist Herman B. Ferguson, a member of the Revolutionary Action Movement (R.A.M.), a communist terrorist organization. Ferguson and some of his R.A.M. comrades were subsequently arrested and indicted in a plot to assassinate more moderate black leaders, as well as Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Ferguson jumped bail and fled the country — to Marxist Guyana, where he stayed for many years. Turns out he had received at least $77,000 from the generous Ford folks to fund his incendiary activities.
And before there was a “Reverend” Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson to stir the “racism/police brutality” pot, there was “Reverend” Milton A. Galamison. A co-founder of the Communist Party’s W.E.B. DuBois Clubs, Reverend Galamison, a much-arrested leader of street disorders, had received at least $160,000 in grant aid from Ford.
Still another riot-maker and Ford acolyte was Leroi Jones (aka Amiri Baraka), a black racist and pornographic “poet/playwright” and Black Power militant. Ford showered him with tens of thousands of dollars. It heaped even more on “former” Communist Party organizer Bayard Rustin, who allegedly broke with the communists, but continued to work with them and their front groups.
And we have not even scratched the surface of the organizations funded by Ford (and the other major foundations) to stir up racial hatred and civil turmoil — which have been detailed in many previous articles in The New American (as well as our predecessor magazine, American Opinion).
Similarly, we can see the “pressure from above and below” operation at work in the “student” riots, the organizers of which also depended on Ford benefactions. Under McGeorge Bundy’s leadership in the 1960s and ’70s, Ford promoted revolutionary activities on college campuses by heavily funding, for instance, the National Student Association, a Soviet intelligence operation that was launched at the Kremlin-sponsored World Student Congress held in 1946, in then-communist Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Or take, for example, the militant Chicano/open borders movement, into which the Ford Foundation has poured many millions of dollars since the 1960s. Consider just one Ford grant (of $630,000), in July 1968, to the violent revolutionaries at the Southwest Council of La Raza, headed by Maclovio Barraza, a “former” agitator for the Communist Party. According to Henry Santiestevan, former head of the Southwest Council of La Raza: “It can be said that without the Ford Foundation’s commitment to a strategy of national and local institution-building, the Chicano movement would have withered away in many areas.”
The same can be said for many other AstroTurf “movements.”
With $11 billion in assets, Ford hands out hundreds of millions of dollar annually to hundreds of radical groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); National Lawyers Guild; Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund; Progressive, Inc.; New World Foundation; Black Church Center for Justice and Equality; Muslim Advocates; Sojourners; Color of Change; Center for Social Inclusion; Neighborhood Funders Group, Inc.; and Funders For Justice.
One of Ford’s most important grant-making operations is its perennial funding of the Tides Foundation and Tides Center, which serve as the conduit to, and incubator, trainer, and manager of, an ever-growing stable of activist organizations.
According to the watchdog group discoverthenetworks.org, “Between 1996 and 2010, the Tides Center served as a fiscal sponsor to some 677 separate projects with combined revenues of $522.4 million; in 2010 alone, the Center was actively managing nearly 200 projects.” Many of these Ford/Tides-funded groups have been in the forefront of street agitation in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other conflagration spots.
Then there’s the Open Society Foundation projects of billionaire leftist George Soros (a CFR member, CFR corporate funder, and former CFR director) that overlap with Ford and Tides. Soros has fueled the street demonstrations by funding agitators from the Center for Community Change, the Gamaliel Foundation, and Organization for Black Struggle (OBS), among others. OBS, which was organized by hardcore Marxists, such as Jamala Rogers, Montague Simmons, and Bill Fletcher, was one of the key organizations that launched the Hands Up Coalition aimed at getting more angry young black Americans into the streets by emotionally exploiting the lie that Michael Brown was “murdered” by a white cop.
Literally thousands of phony “grassroots” activist organizations have been, and are being, created and funded by the radical millionaire-billionaire elitists through their tax-exempt foundation networks. Are these elitists unaware that the militants they are funding are causing social, political, moral, and economic havoc that threatens our country with breakdown and collapse? After more than half a century of financing revolution and mayhem, can these supposedly well-intentioned “do-gooders” truly be ignorant of the harm they are doing?
Certainly, the average American is completely unaware that the rioting and agitation that seem to be spontaneously breaking out all over the country — the pressure from below — are actually the result of a well-funded and highly coordinated campaign provided by some of the wealthiest people on the planet.
More Pressure From Above
Equally important to providing pressure from below, in the form of demonstrators/rioters, is the pressure from above, in the form of more “moderate” agents providing “rational” solutions. These agents are frequently politicians, academicians, media commentators, or scholars from think tanks such as the Brookings Institution, Aspen Institute, RAND Corporation, Center for American Progress, and the like. One of the groups that has served the Ford funders and CFR elite very well in this capacity is the Police Foundation.
In 1970, Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy (CFR) announced that the foundation was giving the enormous sum of $30 million for the creation of a “Police Development Fund.” The Milwaukee Journal reported on July 23, 1970, that the fund “will be the largest private agency in the nation concerned exclusively with police work.” Subsequently the fund changed its name to the Police Foundation, but it has certainly retained its preeminence in terms of influence on “police work.”
Police Foundation president Patrick V. Murphy, a former New York City police commissioner, stated in a 1974 interview with American Opinion magazine that he had “no fear” of a national police force and believed our police departments must be consolidated to make them more efficient. “I have no fear of a national police force,” said Murphy. “I don’t want one, but crime control is not working, and our 40,000 police departments are not sacred. The danger is insignificant.... Policing is not effective.” Murphy continued, reflecting the Ford Foundation line:
We worship local government and home rule in this country — I like it too — but the problem must be solved by a higher level of government, like welfare. We must move it up to the state level. The state must say, “These are the standards.” We would save money and get better efficiency, if we consolidate the little police departments in a county.
Murphy’s consolidation spiel was a regurgitation of the federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration’s (LEAA) propaganda aimed at convincing Americans that our system of locally controlled police must be replaced with a national model. In a 1971 address to a meeting of police chiefs, LEAA Associate Administrator Clarence Coster presented the nationalization agenda in these terms:
Today, in this country, we have 40,235 law enforcement agencies, ranging from one-man departments to New York City, with more than 40,000 police officers. This many units form a completely ungovernable body.
“A completely ungovernable body?” Ungovernable by whom? Each and every one of those local “ungovernable” bodies is governed by state and local laws, by state constitutions and county and city charters, by state and local elected and/or appointed officials. They are governed by state governors, county commissioners, mayors, city councils, city managers, state and county prosecutors, police chiefs, sheriffs, police commissioners, internal affairs bureaus, state and county grand juries, as well as state and county courts.
Yes, it is an imperfect system, and abuses and corruption are — and always will be — issues to contend with. But would those issues magically disappear, or even ameliorate, if police functions were nationalized? Is there any basis in empirical evidence or sound logic to suggest that centralizing political and bureaucratic control in Washington, D.C., would make our police more efficient, less corrupt, or more accountable? Should we feel more confident and secure with a President George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton — or any other national politician — in charge of our police? Have we not seen enough of the murderous dangers inherent in nationalized police states under Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and dozens of lesser dictators and autocrats? Nazi Germany’s Gestapo, the Soviet KGB, Communist China’s Ministry of State Security, Castro’s DGI — every totalitarian police-state apparatus is based on the claim that it is indispensable for national security.
Fortunately for us, our Founding Fathers viewed with great apprehension the dangers of centralized government. As a result, they placed constitutional chains on federal policing powers, reserving the vast majority of those functions to “the States, or to the People.” If we have genuine problems with a local police organization, we must avail ourselves of the local means already extant: the offices of the mayor, city council, county commissioners, county grand jury, local news media, local citizen education groups. If we want our law-enforcement agencies truly “to protect and serve,” we must be sure that they remain the servants, not the masters. And that can only be accomplished by keeping them local — and independent of any controls from national politicians and national government institutions.
The above article is the cover story in our "Police Under Fire" special report. (Click on the image to download a PDF of the full report.)
Photo at top: AP Images