The UNCF takes money from men who can’t stand President Obama

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The United Negro College Fund has been under fire for taking money from any available source.  But the organization has struggled to find funding to support the many Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America that are under severe financial strain.

UNCF President Michael Lomax has taken criticism for accepting a large donation from Charles and David Koch, two billionaire brothers who recently gave $25 million to the organization.

The gift is the fifth largest ever received, and might be its most controversial.   A total of $18.5 million will go to 3,000 merit-based scholarships for black students, and $6.5 million will go to support HBCUs and the UNCF itself.

The move to accept the money has ruffled the feathers of the Democratic Party, which depends heavily on African Americans as key constituents.   But the organization’s president, Michael Lomax, says that he’s OK with the scrutiny.

“Criticism is a small price for helping young people get the chance to realize their dream of a college education, and if I’ve got to bear the brunt of someone else’s criticism to ensure that we have the resources to help those students, then I can handle it, and I can take the heat,” Lomax said.

Lomax says that he had lunch with the Koch brothers and that they had a great deal in common.

“We talked about students. We talked about the kinds of support they need. We talked about the shared belief that there are a lot of talented young people there whose lives will be transformed if they get a chance to complete a college degree,” Lomax said.

In a statement, David Koch said that “increasing well-being by helping people improve their lives has long been our focus.  We have tremendous respect for UNCF and we are hopeful this investment will further its effectiveness in helping students pursue their dreams.”

The Kochs have been criticized for being heavily anti-Obama and funding political action committees that support staunchly conservative causes.   The men have been accused of buying elections and working to reshape the American political landscape into one that is anti-regulation and pro-privatization.  They are also the ones who funded the Citizens United case, The Tea Party Movement and other political acts that have created struggles for the first black president.

You can watch this video to see some of the worst criticism of the Koch brothers. But we also ask:  Does the UNCF have to take sides in this political game, or can they take money from whoever they’d like?  If the Democrats wanted more black loyalty, could they have done more to help struggling HBCUs?

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21 Comment

  1. As bad off as they are financially they would take money from the devil.

  2. You people complain yet you continue to buy Koch industry products.

  3. News flash. Obama is not the black community. In fact his policies reveal that he has no affinity for the black community. So why does it matter if the Kochs can’t stand him? What you’re saying is essentially The UNCF takes money from men who can’t stand a President bent upon further impoverishing the black community. A senseless headline. People who work to impoverish blacks can’t stand another guy who also works to impoverish blacks. That’s what your headline says. Let me fix that for you. ***The UNCF takes money from men who funded the Citizens United case and The Tea Party ***. Whether they like Obama or not is irrelevant.


  5. WHAT is wrong with Black people? STILL asking for hand-outs instead of sacrificing as a Group and doing it financially " THEMSELVES! WHAT HAPPENED TO REPARATIONS? MONEY OUR SLAVE ANCESTORS NEVER RECEIVED FROM SLAVERY, NOT EVEN AFTER?

  6. Did someone say that the Koch brothers made a conditional gift to the UNCF? Or, is this just another political move by rich and powerful White folk to divide and conquer? But, aren’t Black folk already divided? Aren’t we yet to have the victory over our fate in America? Are we not already defeated when we beg Whites and others to hire us when we have our own resources to do a lot of hiring of our own?

    I applaud the Koch brothers for donating a large sum to our institutions of higher learning. I anticipate that other, wealthy, conservative White will follow suit with even more donations to historically Black colleges . . . where Whites now teach and attend as well.

    But what about our own rich and famous who give millions of
    dollars to USC and to other White universities? Whatever the
    reason for the Koch’s $25,000,000 gift, we needed it and we
    needed it bad! And yes, their influence will put a crack in the foundation of so-called liberal politics on UNCF campuses and will certainly open up the discussion so that Koch ideals may be heard.

    Thanks to the Kochs for their liberal donations which will help to preserve the colleges that produced a liberal/conservative like me. But from what I see, the Koch brothers are doing what just about all White folk do: they are helping their own as well.

  7. For all of the criticism, where were the many in the community, Democrats, Liberals, etc. to counter such “questionable” funding. Too often, the critics are usually the loudest to speak, but the quietest in acting. As a donating HBCU alumni, it is really annoying to see organizations such as HBCUs struggle and be restricted by the naysayers regarding who can provide the necessary resources to educate students to compete globally. If there is a problem with the source of the funding, then the critics should put their money, network and time where their mouth is. Then struggling organizations such as HBCUs or organizations such as UNCF would not be so dependent on the pennies given by the government (thanks Democrats and liberals for nothing) or the big bucks from the perceived enemy. In other words, less talk and more action in the community to support and sustain these organizations and causes.

  8. I don't even understand why you wrote this article. Who said everyone has to love and/or like President Obama. The donations to this organization are to help empower African American youth and hopefully expand their consciousness and also to be able to have critical thinking skills. We spend to much time complaining and comparing instead of encouraging and empowering.

  9. You people are disgusting, ignorant and stupid! Every time I tell myself: "These guys can't go any lower", you just somehow manage to surprise me! What is wrong with you?

  10. The “KKK” is live and well the President is still the boss and rich KKK members (The Republican Party) and all of it’s Klansmen can go to hell.

  11. Who cares, as long as the HBCUs are receiving the money. What has Odrama donated?

  12. Well said

  13. And it can start by stop asking for government hand-outs, i.e., food stamps, welfare, Obama phones.

  14. Obama is not god folks. Who cares who likes him. When Obama leaves office, blacks will be no better off.

  15. You phrased it wrong. The issue isn’t whether they like the president, the issue is who are the Koch brothers?
    1. They are oil tycoons who have influenced who gets hired at some white universities, despite student protest.
    2. Their father was a white supremist and a close friend of Joseph Stalin.
    3. They bypassed the general government legislature and went straight to local Republican legislatures to implement the Stand Your Ground law. This move was so covert, that most of the country was not aware of the law until the Trayvon Martin case.
    4. They have worked with Republicans in creating the recent voter restriction laws.
    5. They’re working both sides of the aisle, right now and the real question is what happens when they need a favor?
    6. They helped shape the Tea Party to what it is presently. The Koch brothers have an agenda. Do we, as blacks know what it is?
    It’s not about president Obama. That’s silly. It’s about who these men are and what they truly represent. They’ll be around long after the president is out of office. We need to know who we are dealing with. Especially, since the UNCF doesn’t seem to care.

  16. Koch’s daddy founded the John Birch society. His sons founded a group of “think tanks” and lobbying groups-and the tea party, which appeals to bigots to get a following. The Koch scholarship students will be required to attend summer session at Koch indoctrination camps they already run for white students.

    That said, take the money and educate some deserving young people. The camps will only train the students how to fight the Kochs more effectively.

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