What’s the Manhattan Institute Doing In San Francisco?

Alison Collins is the leader in a fight against billionaires with ties to the eugenics movement’s attempt to destroy public education. She and her family have paid the price for her refusal to keep quiet after a recall effort ousted her as a school board member. Not satisfied with their recall victory, they have vowed to continue the doxxing of her and her family. Neo Nazis have targeted her on the dark web. Another recalled school board member, Gabriella Lopez, was threatened by people whose mental state should be scrutinized. They threatened to decapitate and rape her. Some accuse the two of attempting to rename San Francisco schools, currently named for slave traders and exterminators of Native Americans.

In San Francisco, the far right used minority props to do their dirty work. Siva Raj, an Indian immigrant and non-citizen, began the recall effort. He headed an astroturf group called Neighbors for a Better San Francisco, which was funded by Republican billionaire William Oberndorf. The San Francisco Examiner reported Oberndorf gave $600,000 to a political action committee (PAC) that is largely funding both the school board recall and the Chesa Boudin recall attempt. The San Francisco Examiner reported they’ve put up two-thirds of Boudin recall money: “Our own look at SF Ethics department filings show that Neighbors for a Better San Francisco is also responsible for nearly 25% of the school board recall contributions.”

Another minority prop is Diane Yap. Collins writes: Friends of Lowell Foundation leader, Diane Yap, is a “policy analyst” for Manhattan. Institute, a billionaire-backed right-wing think tank in New York City. This same organization also employs Chris Rufo as their senior fellow. He is credited with the anti-CRT panic sweeping the nation. The same panic is responsible for efforts to remove Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the Virginia curriculum and books on Ruby Bridges from Texas classrooms.

“I was a canary in a coal mine. After Yap’s successful outrage attack on me, she is now attacking Black America itself by insinuating that Black people are largely responsible for the anti-Asian violence in our country.”

The Manhattan Institute was responsible for “Stop and Frisk” under which thousands of Black and Brown citizens were detained by the police without cause until it was declared unconstitutional. Black and Brown women accused the police of using “Stop and Frisk” as an excuse to molest them sexually. Manhattan Institute is also responsible for “Broken Windows.”

Now, Northeastern researchers say they have debunked the “broken windows theory.” In research published in the Annual Review of Criminology and in Social Science & Medicine, they have found that disorder in a neighborhood doesn’t cause people to break the law, commit more crimes, have a lower opinion of their neighborhoods, or participate in dangerous or unhealthy behavior. Wouldn’t tobacco executives lying about smoking leading to cancer deaths be a serious crime? Or oil giants lying about the effects of their carbon emissions on climate change? Not according to the Manhattan Institute. They are funded by Big Oil and Big Tobacco. When their house newspaper, The City Journal, referred to me as an “old-timer” because I criticized “Hamilton,” a musical that glorifies slaveholders, my answer was that maybe if they hadn’t accepted tobacco money, some of their subscribers would have lived as long as I have.

But the institute’s “Broken Windows” program is now a policy under Brooke Jenkins, a Latina Black who replaced the recalled progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. The reason that Boudin was recalled, his enemies said, was because crime had gone up during his regime. No, it went down. Ms. Jenkins was given $100,000 by the same billionaire who supported Siva Raj’s group. She kept this from the public. Following the Manhattan Institutes’ “Broken Windows” crackdown on the poor, the billionaire-sponsored Jenkins policies have led to more arrests of the poor. (San Francisco Chronicle, November 30, 2022).

The Manhattan Institute was founded by William Casey, Ronald Reagan’s CIA chief. It has denied the existence of racial profiling.

Diane Yap is not the only minority prop. John McWhorter is the Think Tank’s high-profile spokesperson. The Hoover Institute finances his opinions. So does the American Enterprise Institute, William E. Simons Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, Inc., the JM Foundation, Koch Family Foundations, Claude R. Lambe Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which financed “The Bell Curve.” His assignment from the right seems to be that every time the Black Left says neither (nee-ther) he says neither (nii-ther). Since the Black Left covers many issues, he must comment on matters he lacks understanding about. He gave the Institute’s mission away when he said that Blacks might need gene splicing or be given a serum to reach the intellectual heights of white Americans, or the Institutes Manhattan members, second and third-generation white ethnics straining to be Anglo, like a dog attempting to please its master by chasing after balls.

The Manhattan Institute was able to land a regular column for McWhorter at the Times, Moynihan central. He has written a column questioning whether the frequently concussed Herschel Walker would have been nominated for Georgia senator if he were white. The real question is whether The Times would have offered a white man a column if he had spouted a lot of eugenics bullshit like McWhorter.

How can the Black Manhattan Intelligentsia tolerate the Times awarding a column to a Black writer who spouts Nazi thought? Asleep at Brunch, as usual? Where is Jelani Cobb on this? Where is Joy Reid on this? Where is the white supremacist feminist movement? Why aren’t they assisting these embattled women? City Journal, The Institute’s newspaper, published an article online about the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, denying that the attack was motivated by white supremacy and arguing that the killer’s obsession with Muslim immigration was a “legitimate concern.” This is extremely troubling on its face but is even more alarming considering that City Journal is not a fringe outlet but rather is ensconced firmly in the mainstream of New York politics. The magazine is published by the Manhattan Institute, a right-wing think tank that is prominent and influential in New York politics, and is funded and governed by a number of hedge fund managers and key figures in the New York power structure. Through the Manhattan Institute, these influential millionaires and billionaires are normalizing white supremacist and Islamophobic ideology that has inspired right-wing terrorism around the world.** The Manhattan Institute is headed by Paul E. Singer, an American Jew and a partner in a Gay marriage. Worth 4.3 billion dollars, Singer, according to The Independent, made his fortune by “buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts.”

You’d think that someone belonging to two oppressed groups wouldn’t sponsor the genetic theories of their house Negro, John McWhorter. So much for intersectionality. Despite this well-funded right-wing effort, which hides behind minority proxies, Alison Collins and Gabriella Lopez remain defiant. Their crime? They wanted to institute a lottery system that would increase the enrollment of Blacks and Latinos at Lowell High School, which has an elite status even though its curriculum is Anglo-Centric. Like other American schools, it follows Roger Stone’s theory of education: White men are responsible for what Americans call “Western Civilization,” which they wouldn’t have were it not for intervention by Muslim scholars, something you didn’t learn in school.

I was attracted to this issue because something didn’t feel right about the media’s coverage. And so I wrote a play called “The Conductor “to fill in their omissions, especially those of Eastern Columnists, who know as much about California as we know about what lies beneath the ocean of one of Saturn’s moons.


A reading of The Conductor which can be seen virtually Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 7 PM Pst and 3 PM Sunday Pst. link is https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-conductor-a-new-play-by-ishmael-reed-tickets-453535365487

The play will be fully staged by The Theater for The New City, opening on the 9th of March and Sunday the 26th of March. Donations (tax deductible) toward this production can be sent to https://www.blackboxpac.com/ishmael-reed

Ishmael Reed’s second Jazz album. “The Hands of Grace” has been released.

First review of our second Jazz CD: “Now 84, the celebrated novelist, poet, and playwright presents his first collection of original songs. These sweetly earnest and stirringly beautiful pieces reflect a life immersed in jazz.”