Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on recent recipients of the “Genius Grants”:

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation annually present a Fellowship to those deemed worthy of what is known as their “genius” award. The winners this year have much in common: 72% of the winners are hard-core left-wing writers, artists and activists. In keeping with the zeitgeist, almost all are consumed with race, and do not look kindly on the United States.

Many are socialists, though none will turn down the $625,000 grant that was made possible by the capitalist system that they abhor.

The superstar of this year’s awards is Ibram Henry Rogers, better known as Ibram Xolani Kendi. His main contribution to America is promoting racism in the name of fighting it. He likes to boast how much he hates capitalism, though that hasn’t stopped him from charging $20,000 an hour for one of his virtual presentations. He is filthy rich.

Here is a list of this year’s “geniuses.”

Hanif Abdurraqib, music critic, essayist, and poet

  • Abdurraqib focuses heavily on the subject of race. In one piece for The New Republic, he complains that Ohio has embraced white supremacy. Also his social media is littered with accusations that America is a racist country.
  • Abdurraqib has also been critical of American efforts in the War on Terror. “There is no retaliation like American retaliation, for it is long, drawn out, and willing to strike relentlessly, regardless of the damage it has done. Sept. 11 is used as a tithe in our church of brutality, even 15 years and endless bombs down the road.”

Daniel Alarcón, writer and radio producer

  • Alarcón is critical of America defending its border. While most of his social media is in Spanish, there are several accusations that American border security is racist and harmful to oppressed immigrants.

Marcella Alsan, physician-economist

  • Alsan contends that legacies of discrimination perpetuate racial disparities in healthcare usage and health outcomes. She once tweeted that “CDC Director Declares Racism A ‘Serious Public Health Threat.'”
  • In a 2006 article, Alsan complained about the Catholic Church is opposed to using condoms to combat AIDS in Africa, thus subjecting them to hardship.

Trevor Bedford, computational virologist

  • During the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests/riots in 2020, Bedford took to social media to say that they did not increase the potential risk of spreading Covid-19. He also tweeted that systemic racism and police brutality were greater threats to public health.

Reginald Dwayne Betts, poet and lawyer

  • Betts maintains that the American justice system is racist. An ex-con, he says “we live in a country that’s too punitive when certain people commit crime.”
  • His social media is full of accusations that America is a racist country.

Jordan Casteel, painter

  • Casteel invites the viewer to consider “blackness” as a concept and social construct through her experimental use of color. She uses her art to call attention to systemic racism.

Don Mee Choi, poet and translator

  • Choi focuses on grappling with the effects of military violence and the U.S. imperial legacies on the Korean Peninsula. She blames American imperialism for much of the suffering in the world.

Nicole Fleetwood, art historian and curator

  • Fleetwood is a prison reform activist who has called to “abolish the carceral state.” She regularly praises BLM and condemns the police as racists.
  • In a 2020 interview with Asia Art Tours, Fleetwood spoke out against the “extractive capitalism” present in both prisons and museums.

Cristina Ibarra, documentary filmmaker

  • Ibarra uses her films to unearth and portray complicated colonial legacies and cross-border tensions that continue to exist in the community. Her films depict intergenerational life, displacement, labor struggles, and community violence, often from the perspective of Chicana and Latina youth.

Ibram X. Kendi, racist expert

  • When Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to be a Supreme Court Justice, Kendi attacked her for adopting two children from Haiti. He likened her to “white colonizers” who “adopted” black children so that these “savage ” children could be “civilized.”
  • “When I see racial disparities,” Kendi opines, “I see racism.” However, “racial discrimination is not inherently racist.” Indeed, he argues that “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” He wants to defund the police.

Daniel Lind-Ramos, sculptor and painter

  • Lind-Ramos art embodies social history and religious rituals. His work focuses on the Afro-Antillean heritages and promoting multiculturalism.
  • Lind-Ramos’ art also focuses on religious aspects. Some of his works involve the inclusion of altars that are a tribute to the afro-Caribbean religions worshipped by Cuban Yoruba slaves, and are meant to unveil the taboos on colonial history that continue to produce anxiety and divide the Puerto Rican society according to skin color and dependency complexes.

Monica Muñoz Martinez, public historian

  • Martinez specializes in histories of racial violence, policing on the US-Mexico border, Latino history, women and gender studies, and restorative justice. She is also “cofounder of the nonprofit organization Refusing to Forget, which calls for a public reckoning with racial violence in Texas.”
  • Martinez’s book The Injustice Never Leaves You in 2019 was named a Five Books Best Book on white supremacy. She has also claimed the Texas Rangers are an institution of white supremacy.

Desmond Meade, civil rights activist

  • Meade has worked to change disenfranchisement laws and other barriers preventing formerly incarcerated citizens from fully participating in civic life.
  • He has complained about a Florida law that returns voting rights to felons only after they have paid all the financial debts they have incurred because of the crimes they have committed calling it an example of “racist Jim Crow policies.” He has also used social media to promote the notion that whites are racist and America is a racist nation.

Safiya Noble, internet studies and digital media scholar

  • Noble supports Black Lives Matter and defunding the police. Further, she wants to ensure that governments and law enforcement cannot use technology to promulgate racism and other forms of injustice.

Alex Rivera, filmmaker and media artist

  • Rivera is best known for his films about labor, immigration, and politics. His works primarily focus on downtrodden immigrants suffering at the hands of border enforcement policies
  • Rivera’s social media has multiple complaints about Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol. He also has many tweets advocating for amnesty and other measures to mitigate the “hardships” endured by immigrants. He frequently frames the argument that white “Anglos” are oppressing poor Hispanics and other immigrant groups.

Jacqueline Stewart, film scholar, archivist, and curato

  • Stewart’s work focuses on black-made movies, black movie-goers, and systemic racism in film
  • In a 2020 opinion piece for CNN, Stewart argued in favor of HBO Max to continue streaming Gone with the Wind because the film show cases America’s racist attitudes and offered a perfect teaching moment for whites to confront their deeply held racist beliefs. In the same piece, she complains about police brutality and praises the rioters for calling attention to systemic racism. Following the piece, HBO Max invited her to provide a new forward to Gone with the Wind and a warning that the film is deeply racist and apologize for past abuses.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, historian and writer

  • Taylor is the author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (2016). In this work, locates the origins of BLM not just in police and vigilante violence, but also in the growing polarization between black politicians and ordinary black people. Taylor argues that black elected officials are often complicit in perpetuating systemic racism. Embedded within the dynamics of capitalist democracy, they create policies that support the economic status quo rather than the needs of their black constituents.
  • Taylor was a member of the International Socialist Organization, a revolutionary Trotskyist non-profit.
  • Taylor wants the police to be defunded and argues that America is a systemically racist country. Also, conservatives are the root of all evil. In one tweet, she shared a video of Amy Coney Barrett with the caption “White Power.”

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, choreographer and dance entrepreneur

  • In 1984, Zollar founded Urban Bush Women (UBW). This is an activist group that uses dance to fight back against inequality.
  • In 1993, UBW put on a performance called LifeDanceIII… The Empress (Womb Wars). The performance takes up women’s cry against sexual violence, medical butchery, and the denial of women’s rights to control their own bodies, and Zollar recounts her deeply personal experience with abortion. Womb Wars presents abortion as a spiritual act.

These award winners are basically apolitical or at least not radicals.

—Ibrahim Cissé, biological physicist

—Joshua Miele, adaptive technology designer

—Michelle Monje, neuroscientist and neuro-oncologist

—Taylor Perron, geomorphologist

—Lisa Schulte Moore, landscape ecologist

—Jesse Shapiro, applied microeconomist

—Victor J. Torres, microbiologist

John D. MacArthur, whose capitalist ventures are responsible for the Foundation, was not a race-baiting anti-American left-wing activist. He was a businessman who created Bankers Life, a prominent insurance company. But like so many other successful capitalists, he did not lay down guidelines for his Foundation, and like so many others, what he created was hijacked by the Left and turned into a radical enterprise.

What we are witnessing is the sabotage of America by the ruling class. Their penchant for national suicide is stunning. They have become the enemy of the common man.

Contact Kristen Mack, Managing Director, Communications at MacArthur Foundation:

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