March 03, 2009

To Give, Or Not To Give


No, no, no...a thousand times, no!

I will give my charitable donations, as much as, and to whom, I please! And they will be to those whom I feel are in need, regardless of race, ethnicity, color, or any other thing they can think of--but it will be MY choice! If I don't get a tax deduction for it, then so be it!

"Nonprofit leaders are reeling from the recent news that President Barack Obama's proposed budget would limit tax deductions on charitable contributions from wealthy Americans. But now the philanthropic world has something else to worry about. Today the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), a research and advocacy group, will release a report offering "benchmarks to assess foundation performance." Its real aim is to push philanthropic organizations into ignoring donor intent and instead giving grants based on political considerations.

The committee is part of a rising tide of politicians and activists who are working to change the face of American philanthropy -- and not for the better.

The report, titled "Criteria for Philanthropy at its Best," advises foundations to "provide at least 50 percent of grant dollars to benefit lower-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized groups, broadly defined." The committee looked at 809 of the largest foundations in the country, whose combined three-year grants totaled almost $15 billion, and concluded that the majority of foundations are "eschewing the needs of the most vulnerable in our society" by neglecting "marginalized groups."

Two years ago, an advocacy group in San Francisco called Greenlining began releasing similar reports. Greenlining's aim then was to pass legislation in California mandating that foundations report to the public the percentage of their dollars given to "minority-led" organizations and the percentage of their boards and staffs made up by racial and ethnic minorities. The legislation was dropped when several foundations promised to donate money to causes Greenlining favored."


Read the rest of this nonsense here.

What, you may ask, has that to do with anything? Well, a lot, when you consider Obama's mind-set concerning reparations:

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004 Obama opposed reparations for slavery. After his election, Obama subtly changed his view, stating he was against "just signing over checks to African-Americans," leaving open the possibility of other forms of reparations would be acceptable to him (Chicago Tribune 11/14/2004).

I'm beginning to think that Obama has found his 'possibility of other forms of reparations' that are 'acceptable to him.' I guess we will see the other acceptable forms as we go along..after all, something new pops up every day.

Lest you think that I am implying that he is catering to the Black minority only, it will be well to remember that while he was campaigning for the presidency, in order to garner votes, he made a lot of promises to a lot of different groups of people.

The worst part of all of this is, that it is not only about reparation, or handing out money to certain, select groups, but about a very complex, convoluted, agenda that is just mind-boggling!

So much for "transparency."

It's about as transparent as muddy water.

20 comments:

povertyflatsusa said...

And we called Bill Clinton "Slick Willie". Compared to Obama Bill Clinton was about as slick as velcro. DM

James said...

For the life of me, I can't follow this post.

Obama hasn't changed his position on reparations for slavery. He's always been opposed to them, while acknowledging that the damage done by the legacy of slavery and racial discrimination still impacts millions of people today, and requires appropriate solutions.

Now, how can the position taken by these philanthropists possibly be reparations, or be Obama's reparations? He's not even involved in this movement, and it clearly wouldn't amount to reparations anyway.

Jan said...

James..I do understand what you are saying, and perhaps the point I was making is not as clear as I should have made it.

What Obama did, I feel, in limiting charitable deductions, was to encourage the very thing that this article speaks of, which is to favor certain minority groups, in a myriad of ways.

With all due respect, I don't see how you can state so emphatically that he has always been opposed to reparations. The fact that he says, as you say, that he believes that the legacy of slavery and racial discrimination requires appropriate solutions certainly seems to indicate that he is not opposed to reparations.

Again: Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004 Obama opposed reparations for slavery. After his election, Obama subtly changed his view, stating he was against "just signing over checks to African-Americans," leaving open the possibility of other forms of reparations would be acceptable to him (Chicago Tribune 11/14/2004).

I, also, said that I was not implying that he was catering to the Black minority only, but to others as well. Whether it is called 'reparation' or something else, only certain minority or ethnic groups will benefit from it.

If you see it from a different perspective, I certainly understand, especially after reading your profile, which is impressive.

I appreciate your comments, and especially appreciate your civility.

Obviously, I am not an Obama fan, and it has nothing to do with his race, as has been said to me before, but if you wouldn't mind, I would appreciate exchanging thoughts with you, via email, so that you may see where I am coming from, too.

My email address can be found on my profile page, if you are interested.

Jan said...

DM..I guess they don't call Obama the silver-tongued orator for nothing!

James said...

Thanks for your response, Jan.

I guess I don't see how limiting charitable deductions, which should reduce charitable giving, will be a boon to disadvantaged groups in our society. I would think it would, if anything, have the opposite effect, as charitable giving tends to benefit the disadvantaged, not the privileged.

I don't see how you can state so emphatically that he has always been opposed to reparations.

Well ... that's the answer he's always given on that issue. And he has declined every opportunity as a politician to support reparations, including in Illinois and the Chicago area, where reparations and related legislation has been a big issue.

The fact that he says, as you say, that he believes that the legacy of slavery and racial discrimination requires appropriate solutions certainly seems to indicate that he is not opposed to reparations.

I don't agree with you at all here, Jan.

For instance, I don't support reparations for slavery. But I certainly agree that our nation has a long and difficult history with slavery and racial discrimination, that the legacy of this history hasn't disappeared, and that we need to act to ensure that we can finally put this issue behind us.

Do you not agree?

Again: Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004 ....

Let's look at Obama's actual position, rather than one reporter's characterization of it.

Obama has emphatically rejected the notion that reparations could compensate for slavery or solve our current problems with race.

He has rejected the reparations movement in Congress, and said that he would rather see us focus on "the much harder work of enforcing our anti-discrimination laws in employment and housing; the much harder work of making sure that our schools are not separate and unequal ...; and the much harder work of lifting 37 million Americans of all races out of poverty."

Whatever you think of these ideas, they clearly don't constitute a back-door program to compensate black Americans for the suffering of their ancestors. Nor would these programs only benefit only certain minorities or ethnic groups.

Thanks for the polite and respectful reception here, Jan, and I'll also send you an e-mail at the address on your profile page.

GUYK said...

I would think that every religious group in the country would be up in arms over this! Although I do not subscribe to any organized religion I do support some of their charitable endeavors. The Salvation Army is one of the best and St Judes research hospital depends on donations to continue its care of children.

I have never claimed a tax deduction for my donations...but then I am not donating millions as are many the wealthiest in the nation. But in any event it is just another socialist movement to gain control of our lives...and make us all equal...equally poor.

I have found that the idea of socialism is not to raise the down trod but to bring down the successful to the down trod level.

Jan said...

James..certainly there are some things here where we could come into agreement, but there are others with which I cannot agree, perhaps, because of my mistrust of the man, himself.

Ideas are good and noble, but only if they are enacted upon with the utmost integrity, with the result being true equality for all.

If one group benefits at the expense and detriment of another, I can't see how that accomplishes anything, no matter how noble it is made to seem.

Perhaps, where some things are concerned, we can agree to disagee, but I am always willing to listen to another's point of view.

Thanks for the email..I will be looking forward to our correspondence.

James said...

there are others with which I cannot agree, perhaps, because of my mistrust of the man, himself

Well, that's all right, Jan. I didn't think that anything I was saying depended, at all, on trusting the president. But whether to trust him is certainly a matter of personal judgment.

If one group benefits at the expense and detriment of another, I can't see how that accomplishes anything

I couldn't agree more, Jan.

Unless, of course, it's a matter of justice or basic fairness. I think we probably agree, for instance, that criminals should sometimes be required to make restitution to victims. Likewise, no one argues that the rich and the poor should pay the same sum in taxes.

You seem to be saying this in response to Obama's position that our nation needs to find ways to overcome our legacy of slavery and discrimination. I would think that any appropriate answers to that problem would involve only fair and appropriate ways of benefiting one group at the expense of another, so hopefully we wouldn't actually disagree about that issue.

Thanks again for the respectful welcome and the interesting exchange of ideas.

Jan said...

Guyk..well, I think that some are, but I also think that many give it no thought at all.

I agree that the two organizations that you mentioned are worthy ones to contribute to, because they are reputable ones, I believe.

The important thing is, that no matter where you choose to give, it should be just that--your choice.

Thanks for your comments.

Jan said...

Thanks again for the respectful welcome and the interesting exchange of ideas.


James..of course.

Your comments are very much appreciated, and you are always welcome here.

The Hermit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan said...

I don't owe anyone a damn thing for something that happened before I was born.

Hermit..that's a feeling shared by many, and then there's the view from the other side which believe something IS owed to them, and that's where the problem lies.

James, however, said in his comments that he does not support reparations for slavery.

James said...

I don't owe anyone a damn thing for something that happened before I was born.

You aren't responsible for something that happened before you were born, Hermit, that's for sure.

Are you sure, though, that you aren't responsible for benefits you've unjustly received in your life? For the harm to others that goes with those benefits?

The fact is that slavery and racial discrimination have left black families suffering significant disadvantages, and have benefited all Americans tremendously.

We can disagree about what, if anything, ought to be done, but we should all agree about the basic facts of our history and contemporary American society.

Why don't you sell your house, James

That's a nice thought, Hermit, but I couldn't afford to buy a house, whether to keep or give away.

The Hermit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Hermit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lydia said...

Hello Jan,
WOW! Is our country financial turmoil!!!!!!
Many of us can't even afford to take care of our own families!
I hope all has been going well with you.
Wishing you a nice evening,
Lydia

James said...

Hermit, I received an e-mail with your responses to me, before they were deleted. Since I think your comments were quite understandable, I'd like to respond briefly.

In a sense, I'm sure you're right that no one ever gave you anything in your life.

And yet, you don't have the standard of living of someone in the Third World, do you? Almost every American enjoys benefits from living in the #1 economy in the world, with our high standard of living. This is true, for instance, of almost everyone who's employed, and most of the unemployed, as well.

Those benefits are largely the result of slavery, without which our economy wouldn't be the largest in the world. We would have an economy, and standard of living, more like Mexico's or Brazil's.

Meanwhile, the average black family has far less than the average white family in this country, and that can be traced directly back to slavery and to the century of discrimination which followed.

These facts don't mean that there aren't other sources of inequality and unfairness in our society, but black Americans do have a point about racial injustice.

Thanks for listening,

James

Jan said...

Lydia..yes, you're right about the turmoil in this country. I can't remember another time exactly like this one!

Yes, I, and my family are well, and I hope that yours is the same.

A pleasant evening to you, too, Lydia..thanks for coming by!

GUYK said...

James, I am betting you have brown eyes because you are full of it! I refuse to accept guilt for something someone did way before my time...and the problem with this nation now are those such as you who are not only wallowing in the guilt but want those of us who have worked hard all of our lives to wallow in it with you and just give up what we have earned to those who have not earned it. You sir are a thief! Yeah, wanting to use government regulations to take from those who have earned it and give to those who have not is theft. Socialists believe in progressive taxation for the same reason that a thief robs a bank...that's where the money is at.

Now that the economy is crashing down around the heads of the socialists there will soon be no one left to rob...so who will you loot then? each other?

James said...

I refuse to accept guilt for something someone did ....

Who wants to do that, GUYK? No one should feel guilt over the actions of anyone else.

...just give up what we have earned to those who have not earned it.

It's fascinating that you interpret my remarks as suggesting that we should all feel guilt, and that we should be giving our money away to those who haven't earned it. I haven't said anything like these things.

Now, it's true that I believe in acknowledging our past. The fact is that what you have isn't simply the result of hard work on your part. You live in the wealthiest nation on Earth, and your standard of living isn't unrelated to where you live. If you lived in a developing country, your income and assets would almost certainly be a tiny fraction of what they are.

Of course, that doesn't mean you haven't worked hard for what you've earned. But it also means that you've benefited from the opportunities this nation has provided, opportunities which depend in large part on our past--including slavery, which is responsible for much of our present wealth.

Socialists believe in progressive taxation for the same reason that a thief robs a bank

Actually, most conservatives in this country believe in progressive taxation, too, so don't blame the socialists for that.

The Republican Party believes in progressive taxation. Rush Limbaugh believes in progressive taxation. It's simply not a sign of socialism.