Big Donors Fuel Racist, Islamophobic Agenda in Small-Town Minnesota

Big Donors Fuel Racist, Islamophobic Agenda in Small-Town Minnesota
David Horowitz speaking at CPAC in 2011

This article was first published at Eyes on the Ties, a news site by

The New York Times published a June 20th article that profiled an anti-Muslim, anti-Somali group called Concerned Community Citizens—or C-Cubed, for short—based in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The group is working to restrict refugee resettlement programs in the state and elect “nativists” (aka, white supremacists) to the city council.

The organization is led by a former university professor named John Palmer. The article noted that Mr. Palmer starts his day every morning at the same diner, where he sits to read the latest “news” from a blog called Jihad Watch.

Jihad Watch is an Islamophobic site known for peddling conspiracy theories and violent characterizations of Islam and Muslims. It is a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a well funded anti-Muslim non-profit founded by David Horowitz.

Horowitz has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a driving force of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black movements.” Horowitz is tied to a number of high ranking political elites including Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior advisor and architect of the Muslim travel ban. Horowitz considers Miller a mentee.

Earlier this year, Sludge released a report detailing the donations from large, mainstream donor-advised charitable funds to an array of hate groups, including the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Jihad Watch. These funds—Schwab Charitable, Vanguard Charitable, and Fidelity Charitable—provide a pass-through that effectively allows individuals to anonymously donate to these hate groups.

The organization has also received funding from notorious, conservative donor-advised fund, DonorsTrust. DonorsTrust is not legally required to disclose its funders but is known to be funded by the Charles Koch Foundation and Robert Mercer’s family foundation. DonorsTrust funds a number of anti-muslim organizations including Middle East Forum and the Center for Security Policy.

The New York Times article shows the direct effects of funding hate groups like the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Jihad Watch. While charitable funds may attempt to skirt accountability by calling themselves “cause-neutral” or say that they are simply supporting a “variety of ideas, views and projects”—as Rebecca Moffett, chief strategic planning officer at Vanguard Charitable said in a response to Sludge’s investigation—their funding streams have a direct effect on people’s lives and safety.

Related from Sludge:

Koch Network Alums Are Going Full-On White Nationalist

As They Profited From the Opioid Crisis, Sacklers Funded Anti-Muslim Network

Who Funds PragerU’s Anti-Muslim Content?