The California Endowment — one of the largest health foundations in the United States — is helping Black Lives Matter amplify its anti-police sentiment, recently donating a full-page newspaper ad to the group’s Sacramento chapter.
"(The) Endowment had the ad space and used it for us," explained Tanya Faison, founder of Black Lives Matter-Sacramento.
The advertisement was published in the December 21 edition of the Sacramento News Review, an alternative weekly based in California’s capital city. It features images depicting two men who died while in police custody in separate incidents last May, claiming both were “killed” by local sheriff deputies. Mikel McIntyre was fatally shot during a scuffle with several law enforcement officers, while officials reported that Ryan Ellis’ death resulted from critical injuries sustained after jumping from a moving patrol car while handcuffed.
Police accounts of both events have been questioned by family members and Black Lives Matter activists.
The California Endowment portrays itself as a health care foundation on a mission "to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians." However, it funds many of the same organizations and drives which are also financed by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations that seek to dismantle American institutions — such as policing and prisons.
California Endowment’s website elaborates on its strategy:
We don’t focus on prescriptions.
We focus on fixing broken systems and outdated policies, ensuring the balance of power is with the people. We don’t focus on the individual, we focus on the larger community as an ecosystem of health. We work with citizens and elected leaders to find lasting solutions to impact the most people we possibly can.
In 2010, the Endowment launched a ten-year, $1 billion initiative "to advance statewide policy, change the narrative, and transform 14 of California’s communities devastated by health inequities," including South Los Angeles, East Oakland, and Sacramento. Many of those funds have been allocated to groups allied with Black Lives Matter, connecting causes like criminal justice reform and inequality to health and wellness.
Dr. Robert K. Ross, the CEO and President of the California Endowment, once penned an editorial stating he was "thrilled to see more momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement," even linking to the official site of the Black Lives Matter Global Network.
Like Black Lives Matter, the California Endowment embraces the concept of “intersectionality,” which joins and leverages different progressive efforts into a collective force, working together to topple the systems that they say keep people oppressed.
The Endowment and many affiliated organizations are actively publicizing a “Rise Up as One” campaign that encourages groups identifying as marginalized — such as unlawfully present immigrants, transgender rights advocates, and Black Lives Matter revolutionaries — to coalesce. Billboards have sprung up throughout California, and the “Rise Up as One” logo is also displayed on the full-page print ad recently dedicated to Black Lives Matter.
The day after publication, BLM-Sacramento’s lead organizer took to Facebook to reaffirm her stance on public safety, which includes a call for the "abolition of the police" by "any means necessary":
“If you believe the police are necessary, please delete me.
If you believe that the issues within our community are not born out of white supremacy and Black oppression, then please delete the fuck out of my abolitionist ass.
If you believe that getting a job, and working hard will lift you out of your white supremist (sic) oppression…then get the fuck rid of me!
I believe in COMMUNITY ALTERNATIVES TO POLICING.
I believe in ABOLITION OF THE POLICE AND THE MFN SYSTEM BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
If thats (sic) too “radical” for you then BOOT my BITCH ASS, family.”
BLM-Sacramento will host a meeting on January 6 to discuss alternatives to existing public safety structures, but the announcement states that law enforcement officers are not welcome to attend.
Follow Jeffrey Cawood on Twitter @Near_Chaos.