Jews know about Tony Kushner’s “socially responsible work” by citing his many campaigns against Israel; he accuses it of engaging in “ethnic cleansing.” Catholics know of his “socially responsible work” by pointing to his defense of anti-Catholic plays, as well as his condemnation of Catholics who demonstrate against bigotry (he even took to the streets to condemn their First Amendment rights). Oh, yes, Catholics also know him as the man who blamed Pope John Paul II for the murder of Matthew Shepard. Quite a portfolio of “socially responsible work.”
Bestowing Kushner with the award is the Puffin Foundation and the Nation Institute. The Puffin Foundation says it exists to provide grants to “artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities.”
It is not known what mainstream opportunity has ever been denied to Kushner. Ditto for last year’s co-winner, the proud president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards. And how about the self-described communist, Van Jones, who won in 2008? Obama gave him a gig in the White House, didn’t he? As for the Nation Institute, Kushner is a long-time contributor to the Nation, the magazine (tied to the Institute) that once heralded Stalin for his “socially responsible work.”
In 1994, Kushner wrote a piece for the Nation that blamed capitalism for “poverty, war, alienation, environmental destruction, colonialism, unequal development, boom/bust cycles, private property, individualism, commodity fetishism, the fetishization of the body, the fetishization of violence, guns, drugs, child abuse, underfunded and bad education.” He did not blame it for AIDS. This is surprising given that he hailed socialism for promoting “homosexual liberation” (guess he never learned what Castro did to homosexuals like himself). In any event, Kushner has a moral obligation to give back his prize—no self-respecting socialist would ever cash a check for $100,000.