The Ford Foundation was originally funded by bequests of Ford Motor Company stock from the estates of Henry and Edsel Ford. While the foundation is noted worldwide for its philanthropy, behind the scenes the Ford Foundation is funding a left-wing agenda that undermines “the system that makes the foundation possible”– free enterprise.
Henry Ford’s grandson, Henry Ford II, wrote that the Ford Foundation: “exists and thrives on the fruits of our economic system. The dividends of competitive enterprise make it all possible. A significant portion of all abundance created by U.S. business enables the foundation and like institutions to carry on their work. In effect, the foundation is a creature of capitalism.”
Although Henry Ford II viewed the organization as a “creature of capitalism,” the Ford Foundation has significantly strayed from its free market roots.
Today’s Ford Foundation contributes to organizations promoting communist ideals, big-government environmental groups, and other left-wing organizations who promote an agenda that principally opposes capitalism.
Foundation Finances Terrorist Sympathizers
In 2011 and 2012, the Ford Foundation donated over $1 million each year to a radical organization called “Latino Justice PDLDEF.” While Latino Justice claims to be “committed to justice and leadership,” it seems to have a skewed definition of what “justice” means.
For instance, Latino Justice calls for the immediate release of convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez. The organization heaps praise upon the incarcerated criminal by referring to him as “the Puerto Rican nation’s shining star,” and a “political prisoner.” Here are some facts about the “shining star” that Latino Justice would like to release back onto the streets:
- In 1972, Oscar Lopez became one of the leaders of the FALN, a Puerto Rican terrorist group.
- In 1975, the FALN bombed the historic Fraunces Taven in Manhattan. The attack killed 4 and injured 60.
- In the course of 9 years, the FALN would set off nearly 140 bombs.
- In 1981, Oscar Lopez was arrested and convicted for conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government.
- Oscar Lopez received additional time behind bars after he attempted to break out of prison twice.
- Described as an “unrepentant terrorist.” Lopez once told the Associated Press, “The whole thing of contrition, atonement, I have problems with that.”
In May of 1981, Oscar Lopez was arrested for his role in numerous FALN attacks. The following day, “FBI agents discovered bomb-making material” in an apartment rented by Lopez. Oscar Lopez was charged with weapons violations, conspiracy to transport explosives, and “seditious conspiracy.” The U.S. Code defines seditious conspiracy as conspiring, “to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States.”
Upon conviction, Lopez declared, “I am an enemy of the United States government” and was sentenced to 55 years in prison. His sentence was later lengthened after he attempted to escape from prison on two separate occasions (the second attempt included plans for violence).
Despite the fact that Oscar Lopez has been described as an “unrepentant terrorist,” Latino Justice PDLDEF launched an internet campaign in January of 2015 calling for his immediate release.
Using the twitter hashtags #FreeOscarLopez and #Gift4Oscar, the group asked its followers to tweet President Obama demanding that he pardon this convicted terrorist.
With generous support from groups like the Ford Foundation, Latino Justice has the financial resources to promote its extreme agenda to the public.
Ties to Communist Organizers
Between 2009 and 2012 the Ford Foundation donated a total of $1 million to the “Labor Community Strategy Center.” This organization openly promotes the communist ideology, as well as a radical green agenda.
The Labor Community Strategy Center laments the downfall of the Soviet Union. According to its website, “When we founded the Labor/Community Strategy Center in 1989 it was a dark time in world history. The fall of the Soviet Union and the immediate fall of the entire Soviet bloc led to a period of grotesque capitalist triumphalism.”
The organization promises that it, “would never join the camp of recantation, anti-communism, or the destruction of the historical memory of the great revolutionary upsurges.” The group sees itself as part of a revolutionary movement that is fighting against, “forces of capitalist production, consumption, and contempt for nature and humanity.”
The Labor Community Strategy Center also recruits applicants for a “National School for Strategic Organizing.” This school promises to educate students on how to build, “a militant civil rights and environmental justice movement of the masses.”
In its “transformative organizing” workshop, the school informs potential students that they should work to achieve “radical social change through the strategy of building an international united front to challenge the U.S. Empire.”
Despite the fact that capitalism empowered Henry Ford to establish the Ford Motor Company, the Ford Foundation has no qualms about funding an organization that actively promotes the destruction of free markets.
Ford Foundation Funds Environmental Groups that Work to Ban Automobiles
Ironically enough, the Ford Foundation gave the Labor Community Strategy Center $1 million over a span of four years even though the organization wants to ban automobiles.
One of the Labor Community Strategy Center’s main campaigns calls for “No Cars in L.A.” According to its website, “we demand the radical restriction in auto use now. Reverse the MTA fare increases, free student pass, free public transportation, 5,000 zero emission buses, a moratorium on rail and highway expansion, auto free zones, auto free freeways, auto free days, bus only lanes all over L.A.”
And the Labor Community Strategy Center doesn’t want the fight to end there. The Center encourages us to, “envision moving towards a 90% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gases by virtually eliminating the auto(mobile) and replacing it with a nationwide system of public transit” instead.
The center refers to its campaign as “taking on car supremacy” in the name of “climate justice.”
Board Member Played Role in ’08 Financial Crisis
Ford Foundation Board Member Martin Eakes has been accused of playing a significant role in the ’08 financial crisis. Martin Eakes is the CEO of the Center for Responsible Lending, which describes itself as a “nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization” working to eliminate predatory lending practices. But CRL’s relationships with its credit union and lending affiliates—as well as several of its donors with vested interests in the financial industry—paint a much different picture.
The Center for Responsible Lending was founded by billionaires Herb and Marion Sandler. According to the NY Times, “The center was the successor to a smaller organization (Self-Help) in North Carolina” led by Martin Eakes. The Sandler’s approached Martin Eakes and asked him if he would like to turn Self-Help into a national organization, and the Center for Responsible Lending was born.
Herb and Marion Sandler are credited with inventing “Pick-A-Pay Loans,” which “allowed homeowners to make monthly mortgage payments that were so small they did not cover their interest charges. That meant the total principal owed would actually grow over time, not shrink as is normally the case.”
Martin Eakes’ company, “Self-Help,” worked to find a market for the Sandler’s risky mortgages. The company bragged that it had, “facilitated the extension of more than $3.6 billion in financing for home mortgages and loans.” Its generous donors included “The Ford Foundation” as part of their effort to “provide a staggering $50 million to subsidize minority and low-income mortgages.”
The Sandlers have since become two of the most vilified faces of the financial crisis due to the fact that they marketed, “risky loans at the height of the housing bubble.” Housing lawyer William Purdy told the New York Times that Pick-A-Pay “is the most destructive financial weapon ever deployed against the American middle class.”
Prior to the collapse of the housing bubble, the Sandler’s sold their bank (along with subprime mortgage portfolio) to Wachovia. According to the New York Times, “Wachovia was projecting $26.1 billion of losses” on their Sandler loan portfolio prior to being sold to Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo, “expects losses of $36 billion on the loans unless efforts to stem foreclosures help rescue part of the portfolio. The losses caused analysts and others to reassess the Sandlers’ legacy.”
In October 2008, “Saturday Night Live” parodied the Sandlers in a skit about the financial crisis. Their characters appeared in a mock congressional hearing, with the caption, “People Who Should Be Shot.” SNL and parent company NBC removed the skit from the Internet and reruns after the Sandlers protested loudly for censorship.
The Ford Foundation continues to allow Martin Eakes to sit on their Board of Directors despite his dubious involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis.
Squanders Over $140 Million on Overhead
In 2013, the Ford Foundation spent over $140 million on operating and administrative costs alone. As Inside Philanthropy pointed out, “A philanthropic entity dedicated in large part to helping the world’s downtrodden is spending $100 million a year on people who are not among the downtrodden. Anyone have a problem with that?”
While the Ford Foundation purports to help the world’s poor, they are paying enormous overhead costs for expenses including, but not limited to, its posh midtown Manhattan office. The office is so extravagant that it even includes a massive indoor garden complete with numerous terraces, granite steps, and a pool of water.
Former president of the Ford Foundation Luis Ubinas, was raking in $2 million in total compensation before he left. Additionally, two ex-Vice Presidents of the Ford Foundation were each “pulling in over a half million dollars in compensation in 2013.” Must be easy to dedicate your life to “charity” when you are making that kind of money. In the last 10 years, the Ford Foundation’s overhead has totaled over a billion dollars.
Ford Foundation Supported Occupy Movement
In 2012 the Ford Foundation awarded $650,000 to National People’s Action, one of the controversial organizing groups behind the Occupy Movement.
National People’s Action is led by George Goehl, a fanatical community organizer who is known for his dangerous tactics.
Under the leadership of Goehl, NPA has focused on intimidating its opponents. Goehl not only endorses these actions, but has led dangerous protests onto the doorsteps of his enemies, targeting them and their families at their own homes.
A notable example of this occurred in May 2010, when a Goehl-sactioned protest included roughly 500 NPA and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) activists who poured onto the lawn of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America. The agitators marched onto his porch—waving signs and condemning him for his “greed.”
Their actions so terrified the only member of the Baer family home at the time, Baer’s teenage son, that he was forced to lock himself in a bathroom and wait for help. When Baer arrived home, he had to fight through the mob of protestors just to get inside his home and ensure his son was safe.
Baer’s neighbor, Fortune Magazine writer Nina Easton, reported that the assault on Baer was only one of the group’s targets for the day; Goehl and the rest of the activists then packed into 14 school buses and moved on to repeat their tactics at the home of JP Morgan executive Peter Scher.
While Henry Ford continues to personify the wealth and innovation that is consistently produced by free markets, the Ford Foundation has deeply betrayed his legacy by promoting an entirely opposing agenda.
Today’s Ford Foundation contributes to communist conspirators and radical environmental groups who openly fight against American entrepreneurialism and, in some cases, fight against the use of automobiles too.
In light of these damaging revelations, it would be prudent for the Ford Foundation to revisit the words that Henry II wrote in 1977, “Perhaps it is time for the trustees and staff to examine the question of our obligations to our economic system and to consider how the foundation, as one of the system’s most prominent offspring, might act most wisely to strengthen and improve its progenitor.”