Memo From The Midwest | Pity the poor Founding Fathers
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[Recently by Dave Gorak: GOP Immigration Idiocy In Illinois]

Twenty-six Midwestern communities will soon receive will receive a total of $5 million in grant awards from the Miami-based Knight Foundation, a private foundation independent from the Knight-Ridder newspaper business.

In total, the Knight Foundation will fund seven immigration related projects for an aggregate of $13.5 million.

Knight calls its largess "Immigration Integration Investment."

Details of the individual cities receiving funding and more specifics of the Knight Foundation's plans are found here: Background on the initiative, and immigration statistics for those cities are here: Statistics on Immigration in Select Knight Communities

When the Founding Fathers dreamed of creating "a more perfect union," it's a safe bet their blueprint for the new republic didn't call for suspending the rule of law to cater to special interests.

But don't tell that to the Knight Foundation.

The foundation apparently thinks that illegal aliens and those who lobby on their behalf deserve special treatment. (See the 2003 Knight Foundation annual report for proof: 2003 annual report.)

According to foundation President Hodding Carter III, the founders did more than just produce the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; they "made clear and left open the possibility that constant change would be required to improve upon their work."

Such change, Carter says, includes "unexpected factors" like the "great flood of immigration of the past 20 years."

Knight made its plan for improving America public in October when it launched its "Immigrant Integration Initiative," the goal of which is to "help those who can't help themselves" and "incorporate the new Americans into the body politic."

There is no question that Carter's (e-mail him) bastardization of the ideas on which our government rests would be anathema to James Madison & Co., who had some pretty strong views about the responsibilities of citizenship, the rule of law, and most importantly, the necessity of preventing foreign governments from meddling in American politics.

But the Knight Foundation wants to financially support the meddlers. In additional to grants awarded to individual cities, the foundation It will further award $8 million in grants among several "immigrant-friendly" organizations, including The National Council of La Raza ($1.25 million) and the National Immigration Forum ($1.75 million), both of which make no attempt to hide their disdain for our immigration laws while demanding "dignity and respect" for the millions of illegal workers who come here to steal jobs and wages from our own working poor.

Knight operatives, naturally, aren't very keen about discussing this aspect of the program.

When I questioned Larry "Bud" Meyer, Knight's Vice President of Communications about why Knight would fund these radical left-wing groups, he made it clear he wasn't fond of my inquiry.

"Many Americans would disagree with you,"

said Meyer ( who apparently is unaware of the numerous public opinion polls that say the exact opposite.

Nor did Meyer appreciate my asking whether the $1.8 billion foundation differentiated between legal immigrants and illegal aliens. Meyer refused to answer.

So I tried another approach:

"Do you think it important that the rule of law be maintained?" I asked

"That is a hypothetical question," Meyer replied.

As David Letterman often asks during his monologue, "What? What?"

Finally, Meyer offered a weak explanation for the Knight's decision to bankroll the illegal alien agenda:

"Not to integrate these newcomers would endanger our communities. We want to turn a negative into a positive," he said

But as I asked myself, "What's positive about rewarding people who have broken the law and ultimately encouraging others to do the same? Doesn't such recklessness also endanger our society?"

A few days later, after Meyer learned I had been poking around behind his back by trying to contact Vivian Neal (, Knight's Midwest representative, he e-mailed the following canned response to my main question:

"Knight's funding in the field of immigrant integration is focused on addressing the challenges that communities are facing regarding immigration and how to ensure that those who are here, working hard and paying taxes, can become productive citizens. Knight's funding of NCLR (La Raza) and other groups is centered on how to make sure those who are here become active, engaged Americans."

(Memo to Meyer: You have much to learn if you and your Knight cohorts believe that a group calling itself "The Race" is concerned about becoming "active, engaged Americans.")

As to how the 26 communities will use their Knight grants, Meyer said specifics of the new programs wouldn't be known until next year.

But in the hope that those in Fort Wayne who will be getting funding might be willing to offer at least a clue or two, I called the offices of Mary Jacobus (e-mail her), the publisher of the The News-Sentinel, who chairs the city's Community Advisory Committee, and Denise Porter-Ross (e-mail her) the city's public information office. Neither returned my calls.

It will be interesting to watch how Knight's philanthropy will advance the concept of a "more perfect union" in a society increasingly willing to suspend the rule of law in order to accommodate certain special interests.

Dave Gorak [email him] is the executive director of the Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration in LaValle, WI. Read his VDARE.COM archive here

The views expressed here are his, and they do not necessarily reflect those held by members of his organization or its board of advisors. Or, for that matter, VDARE.COM.

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