Monday, July 11, 2005

The name's Bond

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond ripped into the Bradley Foundation Sunday in a speech to kick off the NAACP's annual convention:

Bond opened with an attack, saying, "Milwaukee is the home of beer, of brats and the Bradley Foundation," and blasting Bush for failing to appear at the NAACP's annual convention for the fifth straight year.

Bond explained his reference to the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation later in the speech, saying it is among entities that fund what he called "fraudulent" civil rights organizations.

He charged that the organizations appear to back civil rights but [instead] push school vouchers,... [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Indeed the Bradley Foundation has given hundreds of thousands to the Black Alliance for Education Options, or BAEO, a group that says they support school choice. School choice is only mildly controversial. What is wildly controversial is the real purpose of many of the right wing foundations behind BAEO and other groups like them.

I'm not very familiar with the Bradley Foundation, but many other funders of BAEO want to introduce free market competition to education on a wide scale. They believe public schools have outlived their usefulness and that the separation of church and state is unnecessary in public education. These are, to wildly understate the case, dangerous positions.

Chairman Bond called them out:

Such organizations have had black "hucksters" on their payrolls for 20 years, said Bond to thunderous applause.

"Like ventriloquist dummies, they speak in their puppet master's voice, but we can see his lips moving," he said.

Yes, and the puppet master resides on the extreme fringe of the right wing, supports overwhelmingly unpopular policy positions, and relies on others to carry the message... but pays them handsomely to do it.

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