Greenlining Series: 'Diversity' pays off


This is the fifth part of a series produced by CalWatchdog and the Examiner regarding the Berkeley-based Greenlining Institute, a low-income housing advocacy group that critics say intimidates banks and helped cause the housing meltdown.

APRIL 20, 2010


Left-wing activist groups like the Greenlining Institute have for years used the threat of being branded racist or sexist as a weapon to intimidate opponents and to advance their proposals, which are invariably  schemes to transfer millions of dollars into their organizational bank accounts.

The Berkeley-based institute used this tactic with great success against banks and other financial institutions and AB 624 was the opening shot in its campaign to do the same thing to private foundations.

The heart of the proposal was a series of data disclosures described by the Pacific Research Institute (CalWatchdog’s parent company):

“The bill … wants all private foundations in California with assets of more than $250 million to collect and publicize data on the racial composition of its board of directors, including the percentage that are African-American, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Caucasian, Latino, Native American, and Alaskan Native. The bill mandates reporting on the board’s gender composition and also wants to know the racial composition of the foundation’s staff, along with the male-female breakdown.

“AB 624 wants the percentage of business contracts awarded to businesses owned by African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, Caucasians, Latinos, Native Americans, and Alaskan Natives and the number of grants awarded to organizations serving the same groups.

“It also seeks the percentage of grant dollars awarded to organizations serving those groups and the number of grants awarded to organizations where 50 percent or more of the board members are ethnic minorities.

“Not to be left out are the number of grants awarded to organizations where 50 percent or more of the staff are ethnic minorities. All this is to be displayed on the foundation’s website and included in a ‘diversity’ section of the annual report.”

The implicit threat, of course, was that foundations refusing to cooperate would be branded as racist, heartless, selfish, etc.

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