MacKenzie Scott formerly Mrs Bezos wrote a think piece on Medium.com about how she has donated $1.7B of her $36B divorce settlement from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to charity.
“Last year I pledged to give the majority of my wealth back to the society that helped generate it, to do it thoughtfully, to get started soon, and to keep at it until the safe is empty. There’s no question in my mind that anyone’s personal wealth is the product of a collective effort, and of social structures which present opportunities to some people, and obstacles to countless others.“
“Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror. Life will never stop finding fresh ways to expose inequities in our systems; or waking us up to the fact that a civilization this imbalanced is not only unjust, but also unstable. What fills me with hope is the thought of what will come if each of us reflects on what we can offer. Opportunities that flowed from the mere chance of skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or zip code may have yielded resources that can be powerful levers for change. People troubled by recent events can make new connections between privileges they’ve enjoyed and benefits they’ve taken for granted. From there, many will choose to share some of what they have with people whose equal participation is essential to the construction of a better world.“
“I began work to complete my pledge with the belief that my life had yielded two assets that could be of particular value to others: the money these systems helped deliver to me, and a conviction that people who have experience with inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions. Last fall, I asked a team of non-profit advisors with key representation from historically marginalized race, gender, and sexual identity groups to help me find and assess organizations having major impact on a variety of causes. Though this work is ongoing and will last for years, I’m posting an update today because my own reflection after recent events revealed a dividend of privilege I’d been overlooking: the attention I can call to organizations and leaders driving change.“
“The non-profits listed below were selected for transformative work in one of the following areas of need:
Total given to date:
- Racial Equity: $586,700,000
- LGBTQ+ Equity: $46,000,000
- Gender Equity: $133,000,000
- Economic Mobility: $399,500,000
- Empathy & Bridging Divides: $55,000,000
- Functional Democracy: $72,000,000
- Public Health: $128,300,000
- Global Development: $130,000,000
- Climate Change: $125,000,000
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Editors Response: While this massive donation is admirable from Mackenzie who is worth $58.9B, I have to wonder when her tax deductible donations are returned to her next year, what was the point?
Currently, there are millions of people without jobs, why? COVID-19 … companies have shuttered their doors, gone bankrupt, the world is in turmoil financially and many states in the US are unable or unwilling to pay unemployment benefits that were promised to US citizens and residents.
So while I see a whopping $586,700,000 donated to “Racial Equity“, where exactly is this money going and to whom? What will these companies be doing with their half a billion / $1.7B donations?
I’ve always had a funny way of looking at money, way before Mackenzie’s donation. I’ve had these thoughts for years, but McKenzie’s donation gave me the courage to put finger to keyboard.
According to the census there are 328.2 million people in the US as of 2019. 13.4% are Black or of African descent.
I completely understand that millionaires and billionaires made their money and are entitled to spend their money any which way they choose…. But if you are going to donate to charity, wouldn’t charity be better helping people directly? But we have millions of people who are homeless, unable to work, due to the pandemic, who are struggling with life right now. Wouldn’t it be more useful to give the money directly to the people.
The very “useful”, rich senate right now are still deciding whether to give Americans without work a measly $400 or $100 a week. Although I must recognize the US government for giving its people $1,200 a few months ago.
Give each American citizen / resident a $1M, yes 1 million USD. Crazy idea huh? Now it won’t help every problem, but it would help A LOT of people, especially if you’re going to give half a billion to “Racial Equity”.
There are Americans right now that cannot afford food for their children, cannot afford rent, cannot afford safe drinking water, struggling to stay afloat, but yet we have a woman donating to organizations that are going to do exactly what with the almost $2B just donated? Advertising on social media, TV, radio … asking for donations from the very same people who have no money?
Don’t get me wrong I think it’s admirable to donate $1.7B dollars to organizations most of which goes to administration who then pay money for marketing and ask for more donations from the poor. Mackenzie has done what many new billionaires have not done.
But wouldn’t the monies be better given to the people who need it the most?
In the book of Jasher which is an Apocrypha book of the Bible, it tells the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah most known for being destroyed by fire for it’s rabid sexual immorality. But what is oft left out of it’s story is Sodom and Gomorrah residents were ridiculously selfish to the core. They would have visitors coming to the cities looking for food and shelter and they would deny said visitor any help, not because they didn’t have it, just because they didn’t want to help and were inherently evil. They even killed residents of their cities if they helped any visitor. Yes, they actually killed any kind person. (Jasher 19:8, 25-35)
So in saying all that, a rant really, America is modern Sodom and Gomorrah, for many reasons, including the small percentage who has all the wealth and refuses to help those who need it the most.
Some times a helping hand goes a long way.