MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, announced Tuesday she donated $1.7 billion to 116 nonprofit organizations. While some of those organizations aren’t controversial, others actively advocate for causes like abolishing prisons and police forces, encouraging elementary school children to explore their sexuality, providing gender reassignment surgery for imprisoned sexual predators, and forcing states to allow abortions up to the age of viability (which can be as late as 28 weeks, or the beginning of the third trimester).
One of the groups Scott donated to was the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a legal firm. The NCLR recently represented an inmate, who is serving time for sexual abuse of a minor, in his successful attempt to get state-funded gender reassignment surgery while in prison. The organization also led “drafting and submission of testimony” for a bill that would ban states from prohibiting abortion before a fetus is viable. In most cases, viability occurs as late as 24 to 28 weeks — or 6 to 7 months.
That abortion bill is also supported by the National Women’s Law Center, another recipient of Scott’s philanthropy.
The Women’s Health Protection Act would protect against medically unnecessary abortion restrictions that are designed to shame patients, intimidate providers, and shut down clinics. Congress, it’s time for you to #ActForWomen. https://t.co/xtRRgrnfNq
— National Women's Law Center (@nwlc) August 3, 2020
Further, the National Women’s Law Center created and advocates for a school curriculum that teaches students “to be effective advocates by studying the history and present of LGBTQ+ advocacy.” The curriculum is designed to spend two weeks teaching middle school students the history of LGBT advocacy and to encourage them to begin their own advocacy projects. It also instructs students to grade their schools on whether they respect students’ rights, with criteria including whether the school allows transgender students to cross-dress, use their bathroom of choice, and compete on a sports team that differs from their biological sex.
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network), another donation recipient, has also developed a school curriculum to shape students’ views on sexuality. GLSEN provides teachers with curriculum that tells elementary school children they’re “experiencing cisprivilege” if they identify as a boy or girl and have the accompanying traditionally masculine or feminine traits. The curriculum also encourages kids to explore their gender identity, teaching them that “self-expression can be really fun” and asking them to consider how their gender expression changes from day to day. In its instructions for elementary school students, GLSEN also warns teachers not to refer to students’ parents as “mom and dad,” and to “consider celebrating “Family Day” rather than Mother’s and Father’s days.”
The Fund for Trans Generations has provided grant money to a “Black Trans Prayer Book” that “collects the stories, poems, prayers, meditation, spells, and incantations of Black Trans & Non-Binary people.” In addition to financing books of incantations and spells, the Fund for Trans Generations also specifically notes in its “funding priorities” that the organization is open to considering funding projects to decriminalize prostitution.
In addition, Scott donated to several organizations that support abolishing the police.
The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice notes on its grant application page that its “anti-criminalization” work includes “work on policing and prison abolition.”
The Movement for Black Lives demands that “prisons, police and all other institutions that inflict violence on Black people must be abolished and replaced by institutions that value and affirm the flourishing of Black lives.” The organization also identifies itself as anti-capitalist, and its policy platform includes the “radical…redistribution of wealth,” by means that include raising the top marginal income tax bracket to 80 percent. The Movement for Black Lives also seeks to “end privatization” of schools and eliminate nonprofit teaching organizations like Teach for America that it slams as “corporate-backed.”
The Advancement Project released a list of demands that included defunding the police as well as removing officers from schools and providing “reparations for state violence against communities of color.”
Southerners on New Ground, an organization that describes itself as a “home for LGBTQ liberation,” also encourages followers to consider “strategies to abolish imprisonment and policing systems.”
And the Groundswell Fund — a grant-making organization with a special focus on “reproductive justice” — shared articles on Twitter advocating for the abolition of police.
"The goal cannot be for less police violence. We must demand no more police violence, which would require the complete abolition of the police." https://t.co/frwE1pkIKV
— Groundswell Fund (@GroundswellFund) July 20, 2020
"Ultimately, abolition is a verb, a practice. It consists of the actions we take to build safety and to tear down harmful institutions." https://t.co/GV0yeNQVYZ
— Groundswell Fund (@GroundswellFund) July 27, 2020