Monday, December 13, 2004

OK, so define "Anti-American"

The following is from the November issue of the Aspen Philanthropy Letter, an email newsletter sent out by Alan Abramson of the Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector Research Fund. Considering this morning's post on the Reece Committee, Rockefeller Foundation, and Alfred Kinsey, the following is remarkable (!)

A Congressional investigation into foundation practices is needed to expose activities that "seek to de-legitimize the American regime," according to John Fonte of the Hudson Institute. Fonte led a discussion at Hudson's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal Nov. 30 based on a working paper that documents his allegations of "anti-American" funding from foundations.

In arguing that foundations sometimes support regime-threatening initiatives, Fonte points specifically to foundation funding of organizations which feel that the American system is inherently racist and therefore illegitimate, and to foundation support of groups that reject the traditional notion of assimilation of immigrants in favor of group rights, consciousness, and advocacy. [EMPHASIS ADDED BY LB] ...Congress ought to help foster a debate within philanthropy about foundations' responsibility to "perpetuate the American regime."

Last time I checked, Americans were constitutionally guaranteed the right to NOT "perpetuate the American regime." At least this is how I would read - and how the Supreme Court has read - the following: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." This sentence, which Mr. Fonte may think doesn't apply to American philanthropic foundations, happens to be the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

At the risk of ending the day by repeating myself from this morning, What can we learn from history?

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