Dirty Money And The Moral Dilemma
[guest by Dana]
Not surprisingly, the fallout from the Donald Sterling debacle continues apace. Charities that have been the recipients of Sterling’s largesse now find themselves facing a bit of a dilemma: Is it morally right to keep Sterling’s dirty money?
Well known and longtime charities like Goodwill of Southern California and the L.A. Rescue Mission have been able, in part, to meet the needs of untold numbers because of Sterling’s sizable donations.
When questioned by TMZ whether they would keep Sterling’s donations or return the money, the responses varied. It would have been interesting to see how each organization arrived at their decisions.
— A Place Called Home — a program for high-risk teens — got a $100,000 donation from Sterling, doled out in $10K yearly installments. The charity has received $30K, which it will NOT return, but it is REJECTING the $70K balance.
— Temple of the Arts — It’s keeping Sterling’s $10K donation.
— L.A. Union Rescue Mission — It’s been receiving $10K a year. They’re keeping the cash, telling TMZ, “We take money from all kinds of bad people all the time.”
— Goodwill of So. Cal. — It got a $100,000 donation from Sterling, doled out over 10 years. It has received $20K so far and it’s giving all the money back and not accepting the balance.
— American Diabetes Ass’n — Sterling donated $25K. It’s keeping the loot, telling us, “The sad reality is that without donations like Mr. Sterling’s, we can’t help the people that we do.”
This week, UCLA announced it will be returning $425,000, which was the first payment of a 3 million dollar donation and will decline the balance. The money was earmarked for kidney research.
Additionally, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance received $30,000 dollars but is unable to return it as it has already been spent.
So, is it ridiculous to return money that could have been well spent on improving the quality of life for those in need or is it a more noble thing to decline money coming from a racist?
(On a side note: As an individual, I suspect if I were the one in need, hungry or homeless or seriously ill, I would not be concerned where the money came from to help meet my needs. If I were at that point of hardship, I would not have the luxury to contemplate such moral dilemmas. My guess is that the efforts to simply survive another day lend a much different perspective.)
On the other hand, one must draw the line somewhere.
PATTERICO SEZ: Kudos to everyone who is keeping the cash. Who cares if it came from a guy who said racist stuff in private? It’s not like the money was earned in the process of crimes or horrific acts. It was earned by a flawed man. If he has donated to good causes, then he this flawed man has done something good. These people want to give him back the money, because it’s better for a racist to have more money than it is for UCLA to have money for cancer research??
You know what? Make me a list of anyone giving money back. They get nothing from me.