There’s been an outpouring of “solidarity” on college campuses across the nation for Michael Brown, even as new data and reports reveal that the initial narrative — that an innocent black teenager was murdered by an angry white cop — is a far cry from reality.

At recent observances at the University of Georgia, UCLA and Yale, for example, students marched in protest or posed for pictures en masse with their hands up and “don’t shoot” signs. Some students suggested the recent incident is by no means isolated, and is more indicative of a pattern of violence by white cops against black victims.

The gathering in Georgia, for example, aimed to express “solidarity” with Brown, and discussed other matters such as “issues of inequality,” and “unrest over acts of violence committed toward minority groups,” The Red and Black student newspaper reports.

At UCLA on Thursday, the call to students declared “Come out with your fellow Bruins and take a stand as a community against police brutality and the extra-judicial killings of young men and women throughout this country. We’re tired of turning on the news and scrolling through our Facebook feeds and hearing of another Black or Brown individual being senselessly executed.” (Emphasis added.)

On Tuesday, students at Yale held a Michael Brown-themed rally in New Haven, Connecticut. The image under the headline shows signs with the slogans “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and the more head-scratching “Murder Is Illegal.” Aside from the “no, really?” aspect of the latter, it clearly pre-determines the outcome of what happened in Ferguson: Officer Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown.

Art student Henry Chapman came right out and said as much (emphasis added):

… the violent outbursts of some protesters in Ferguson and the looting didn’t make a difference to him – murder is still murder, he said.

“The real issue here is structural racism,” he said. “And the real looting is the structural looting of minorities.”

Another student, Dolores Colon, believed Wilson would be found innocent — not because he acted justifiably, but because “If you are of color, you get the hammer.” She added, “It’s a double standard. (People of color) suffer at the hands of people who are there to protect them.”

The rallies come even as news reports now indicate Brown was shot from the front, and not killed execution-style from behind as initial reports suggested. What’s more, the incident — which has prompted more than a week of riots and unrest in Missouri — has brought renewed scrutiny on crime statistics.

USA Today notes that out of an average of 400 police shootings per year across the US, ninety-six of the victims are black.

Despite the paper’s attempt at a gasp-inducing first sentence (“Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012 …”) note that this is twenty-four percent of the total. While that’s almost double the percentage of the African-American population in the US (13%), it fails to take into account the large disproportionate (violent) crime rate of that population. As such, is that 24 percent actually “out of balance?”

Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has written extensively on race and crime, and many of her articles debunk the left-wing conventional wisdom about race “disproportionality” with regards to policing and incarceration.

On Wednesday, in a segment about the media coverage of the Brown shooting and Ferguson protests, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly pointed out that the 400 shootings per year figure is out of an average of approximately 12 million police arrests per year.

Left-wing MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who had taken on O’Reilly a year ago about race and crime stats and gotten some basic facts wrong, made an interesting comment after his correction:

But never fear, white America, because we also overestimated the number of white murder victims killed by black assailants in total. According to data from the FBI, as far as we know, there were only 447 white victims killed by black offenders in 2010. That is in a country of over 200 million white people.

It should be noted that if Hayes’ figure is correct, that actually would be roughly half of the yearly average for the previous ten years of 2000-2009. Nevertheless, it would be refreshing if liberals and the media looked at the actual statistics and applied Hayes’ “never fear” attitude to situations like that of Michael Brown.

(College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany contributed to this article.)

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. You can follow him on Twitter @ColossusRhodey.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Light Brigading/Flickr


Nonprofit expert: ‘You would have to take her at her word’

Hillary Clinton says she donated her estimated $2 million dollars earned from campuses speeches over the last 18 months to her family’s nonprofit Clinton Foundation – but that assertion cannot be independently verified, according to a nonprofit foundation expert.

Rick Cohen, national correspondent for Nonprofit Quarterly, said the only way to confirm Hillary Clinton donated her campus speaking fees to her foundation would be for her to release her personal income tax returns to the public, or for her to direct her foundation to release its IRS tax filings to the public with specific identification of the names of its major donors and the amounts they donated.

Those two disclosures are not required by law.

Cohen said he isn’t confident that the foundation would make such detailed disclosures, based on the minimal amount of donor information it currently lists on its 990s.

As for Clinton, after she becomes a formal candidate for president, she will have to file financial disclosure forms with the Federal Election Commission, which do not require her to itemize charitable contributions.

“The financial disclosure statement is going to leave you maybe wondering,” Cohen said in an interview with The College Fix. “Basically it will identify the sources of her income, identify the organizations she associated with, but it may not say: ‘Here is where I gave my donations to.’ And in fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t.”

Traditionally, presidential candidates release their actual personal income tax filings, but it isn’t mandatory. Candidates also often offer abridged versions of their tax returns.

That leaves the public with no option to independently verify her statement until and unless she releases her complete income tax returns.HillaryClinton.PennState.Flickr

“All of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and life-saving work. So it goes from a foundation at a university to another foundation,” Clinton told ABC News in early July, after outrage ensued regarding the high-dollar amount she commands for campus appearances.

‘You would have to take her at her word’

Disclosing her finances on paper has never been her strong suit, Cohen said.

“She has never been good on transparency and disclosure,” he said. “Whatever you think of her, good or bad, she has never been good at voluntary disclosure. … You would have to take her at her word.”

For example, when the Clintons raised money for their library foundation, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, she chose not to divulge donations to the foundation during her 2008 presidential campaign, he said.

The contract between Hillary Clinton and UCLA for her March 5 appearance, for which she was paid $300,000, directs the university to cut the check to the Harry Walker Agency, which will then remit the honorarium to the foundation, according to a copy of the contract obtained by The College Fix.

An interview request to the Clinton Foundation on the subject by The College Fix was referred to her personal office, which did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Tax Filings: Dead End

Cohen, who has covered nonprofit foundation operations for more than a decade, said that annual tax documents filed by the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, called 990s, do not list Hillary Clinton as drawing a salary from the organization. (Nor Bill Clinton, for that matter).

“The real question on the 990s is if she says she is donating the money to the foundation, how would you know,” Cohen said. “The foundation, as a 501(c)(3) public charity, does not have to disclose who gives it money, and how much.”

What’s more, up until about four or five years ago, the Clinton foundation had “a very odd process, its 990s would list major donations without an address or name of the donors,” Cohen said.

“A few years ago, they stopped even doing that,” he added. “They’re under no obligation to do so by law, because they are an operating public charity.”

Making matters worse, the lagtime in when 990s are filed – and when they are made available to the public – makes tracking such matters difficult. Even with the information that could be culled from the foundation’s 990s for 2013-14, those reports might not be published for public review until 2016, Cohen said.

Meanwhile, Clinton won’t be filing a candidate’s financial disclosure statement until she is an official candidate, which is still some time off.  If as a candidate she releases her income tax filings, that won’t be soon either.

In her 2008 presidential primary campaign, she didn’t release her income tax filings until April 2008, a month after Barack Obama did.

Campus Speeches: Potential Political Influence Peddling

Cohen said one of his biggest concerns with the fact that Hillary Clinton can collect $300,000 for the UCLA campus speech is that it’s sort of a work-around of campaign finance laws, not from Clinton’s end – but from a donor perspective.

Clinton’s visit was funded by the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership, a UCLA endowment created by wealthy businessman Gene Luskin, who has a history of supporting Democrats, such as President Obama, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Launched in 2011, to date the series has funded three guest lectures: one from former President Bill Clinton in 2012, which cost $250,000; another by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2013 at a cost of $180,000; and most recently by Hillary Clinton.

“Luskin can basically pay for the speech, and he and a bunch of his friends get to spend time with Hillary,” Cohen said. “There is nothing more valuable in politics. Not only is it face time, it’s a charitable tax deduction.”

And that’s troublesome, he added. Charitable expenditures for politicians’ charities raise the potential of donors using charity for political influence.

“Even though it’s for ‘charity,’ it’s not really Luskin’s charity to the extent that it is a 501(c)(3)charity and a tax deduction,” Cohen said. “That money could have gone to other speakers of equal educational benefits. So when it’s tax deductible charitable money, as opposed to a private operation’s money, it’s partly your tax money.”

Both Sides Do It

Cohen said this set-up, which is legal, is not exclusive to Democrats.

“I have been raising this issue since 2004,” he said. “Right-wing groups do the same thing as left-wings groups. It’s the way the game is played.”

For example, he cited former House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s foundation for foster children, which came under fire in 2005 for its support from large corporations.

“I am sure there are people who gave to Tom Delay because they care about foster children,” Cohen said. “The problem is for a sitting politician to have a charity associated with that politician. Lobbyists and influence peddlers can use donations to the charity as a means of signaling support and getting access to powerful political leaders without those interactions being disclosed and scrutinized”

“I have been calling for mandatory disclosure of all giving to any charity or foundation that is established by a politician or run by a politician or run by a politician’s family members or staff.”

An effort several years ago to force charities associated with sitting politicians to detail more information about their donors did not pass Congress, he said. But with Hillary Clinton, it wouldn’t matter, anyway.

“She is not yet an official political candidate, she does not hold office,” he said. “This is where charity gets really mucky.”

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. ( @JenniferKabbany )

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGES: Main, YouTube screenshot; Inside, Penn State/Flickr

{ 1 comment }

Spending $300,000 to pay Hillary Clinton to speak on campus last spring was a waste of money, according to the results of a recent UCLA Daily Bruin online poll.

The poll’s question noted that: “Hillary Clinton’s recent $300,000 paycheck for speaking at the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership has captured the attention of news outlets around the country. What do these large fees for notable speakers say about UCLA and the Luskin lecture series?”

Her 90-minute March 5 appearance – the itinerary of which was a half-hour photo line followed by a 60-minute speech and moderated Q&A – amounts to roughly $3,300 per minute that the former Secretary of State and possible 2016 Democratic presidential contender earned for her time.

Of the 271 people who participated in the multiple-choice poll on the student newspaper’s website, the top pick – 48 percent or 131 voters – agreed that “large sums are inappropriate and demonstrate poor prioritizing on the part of the university and the Luskin lecture series.”

Another large chunk of respondents – 27 percent or 73 votes – called the large sums “unfortunate, but without them UCLA might not obtain the same level of notable speakers for the lecture.”

A smaller margin – 21 percent or 58 votes – agreed it was worth the money, calling it an “inspiring and rare opportunity.” The final nine voters were undecided.

The Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership was launched in 2011 and is funded through the aid of wealthy businessman and UCLA donor Meyer Luskin, who is also a supporter of President Barack Obama, giving money to his campaigns in the past, according to online Federal Election Commission records.

UCLA’s Luskin lecture has paid for exactly three speeches to date: one from former President Bill Clinton in 2012, which cost $250,000; another by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2013, which the Daily Bruin reports earned the diplomat $180,000; and most recently by Hillary Clinton in March, who was given $300,000 for her time.

“Hillary Clinton has inspired a lot of students, but when you talk about funding, $300,000 could have gone somewhere else to create concrete changes,” Conrad Contreras, the Undergraduate Students Association Council external vice president, told the Daily Bruin in a July 7 article. “It’s difficult to see that UCLA is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone who is already wealthy when I have friends and families working countless hours to stay in higher education.”

In that same article, the Daily Bruin noted that Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright have given speeches at UCLA in the past and charged no fee when they came to speak through the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations.

After the Bruin’s article was published, Joseph Rudnick, senior dean of UCLA College of Letters and Science, defended the Luskin series in a letter to the editor, saying “thanks to their gift, the UCLA College has built a signature lecture on campus without the need to use public funds. To date, three world leaders have come to campus to share their thoughts on the important issues shaping our world, and each time, students have attended these lectures free of charge.”

Except there was a near riot when those free tickets to Hillary Clinton’s appearance were doled out to students, the Bruin reported at the time. In fact, many students were shut out of the event due to a lack of space, prompting officials to agree to live-stream it to the overflow crowd.

The venue choice had even prompted students to petition to have the speech relocated.

“Live-streams are just like (glorified) videos, which we can watch on YouTube anytime,” one student who launched the petition told the Bruin. “The experience of witnessing someone speak in person is something that I can’t even put into words, and that is what I’m advocating for. … Students have the most to gain and usually most interest in such lectures, but it looks almost like a campaign event for Hillary where the only people who can afford to attend are those already donating to the campaign.”

The speech was a campus fundraiser that raised money for UCLA scholarships through the sale of tickets, which cost $100 to $500 dollars apiece. The Clintons have said that they transferred their campus speaking fees to their family’s nonprofit.

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix ( @JenniferKabbany )

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: U.S. Department of State


The University of California Los Angeles has had its cover blown wide open.

According to UCLA Professor Tim Groseclose in his new book, “Cheating: An Insider’s Report on the Use of Race in Admissions at UCLA,” the public university has conducted under the table affirmative action programs – despite the practice being illegal in California.

The public university did so in an effort to admit black students at a much higher rate than they would have been if the school had followed the letter of the law, his research found. Campus officials’ decisions had a detrimental effect on the acceptance rates of white and Asian students, according to the data he unearthed.

“I happened to be on the faculty oversight committee at UCLA and it was clear there was cheating going on,” Groseclose said in an interview with The College Fix. “I never would have written anything at all about admissions in college if I hadn’t been on this committee.”

The book details how UCLA admissions personnel used a “holistic” approach to their decisions. Groseclose said he believes that the holistic approach facilitated the ability of the admissions staff to grant under-the-table racial preferences.

UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez told Fox News that the school “will not address specific assertions made by Prof. Groseclose,” but said “UCLA believes its admissions process to be fair, transparent and consistent with state law.”

When the state’s voters in 1996 passed Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative, it was the first successful ballot initiative to forbid the use of race, sex, and ethnicity in public employment decisions, including admission to state universities.

Several states have followed California’s lead, most notably Michigan, which banned the practice by a ballot initiative in 2006.

Groseclose said he believes that the affirmative action activity continued illegally at the urging and coercion of the state legislature and alumni groups.

“When UCLA had a drop in African-American admissions, there was a crisis on campus – there were protests at the chancellor’s office,” Groseclose said. “And the chancellor showed up at my committee – and this was remarkable, I never heard of this before – and he lobbied us to change the admissions system.”

“He said there were several constituencies of UCLA distressed at the low number of African-Americans,” Groseclose added. “He said at least two of those constituencies were black alumni groups and the other was the legislature in Sacramento. He certainly implied that our funding was going to be cut if we didn’t increase diversity.”

The legislature was urging and even strongarming the university into breaking the law.

Despite these obvious signs of illegal activity, Groseclose claimed he could never access admissions data for himself, even after requesting it.

“When I asked for a thousand random admissions files, which I thought was a legitimate duty and undertaking of my committee, UCLA refused,” he said.

The reluctance to release the files sounded alarms, Groseclose said, and it raised his suspicions that the university was engaging in clearly illegal activity. He received the data only after filing a Public Records Act in California.

Groseclose published these findings and more in April. He is also the author of “Left Turn: How Liberal Bias Distorts The American Mind.”

An amendment to the California constitution was proposed in 2012 which would have allowed for the consideration of race, color, ethnicity, and national origin in admissions decisions for public universities. It passed the state Senate but was ultimately withdrawn from consideration after public opposition to the bill made its future politically unviable.

As The College Fix reported last winter, at UCLA “white students are actually severely ‘underrepresented’ compared to black students: the white percentage at UCLA is only 37.7 percent of the total percentage of white residents in the state, whereas the black percentage at UCLA is 57.6 percent of the total statewide percentage of black residents – a 20 point difference.”

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter


It’s come to light this week that possible 2016 presidential contender and self-described “dead broke” Hillary Clinton has likely raked in almost $2 million in speaking fees for appearances at public and private universities across the nation in the last year.

“At least eight universities, including four public institutions, have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hillary Rodham Clinton to speak on their campuses over the past year, sparking a backlash from some student groups and teachers at a time of austerity in higher education,” The Washington Post reports.

The University of Connecticut paid $251,250 for an April visit, UCLA paid $300,000 for an appearance in March, and UNLV ponied up $225,000 for a speech scheduled for October, the Post reported. Five other campuses she visited refused to tell the Post what they paid her: University at Buffalo, Colgate University and Hamilton College in New York, as well as Simmons College in Boston and the University of Miami in Florida.

“But if she earned her standard fee of $200,000 or more, that would mean she took in at least $1.8 million in speaking income from universities in the past nine months,” the Post reported.

While many or most of these speeches were paid through foundation grants, donor funds, and other coffers not directly tied to campuses’ general budgets – the outrage and calls of hypocrisy have already mounted.

Even as Clinton stumps for better access to higher education and bemoans the plight of penniless college students, she collected some of these staggering fees at schools that have raised tuition on students recently.

UNLV has recently upped tuition by seventeen percent, while UConn has raised it by six and a half percent, The Washington Post reported, adding the high price tags for Clinton’s speeches have angered many students who face ever-increasing tuition hikes:

“The students are outraged about this,” said Elias Benjelloun, UNLV’s student body president. “When you see reckless spending, it just belittles the sacrifices students are consistently asked to make. I’m not an accountant or economist, so I can’t put a price tag on how much we should be paying her, but I think she should come for free.”

UNLV student leaders have called on Clinton to return her “outrageous” speaking fee, but Clinton’s spokesman and many of the colleges have been mum when asked about the former New York senator’s honorariums.

But the former First Lady was mocked after she defended her speech rates in a recent interview. She stated that she and husband Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House in January of 2001.

Many college students may also wonder how she will reconcile her fees with statements like “I worry that we’re closing the doors to higher education in our own country,” and “This great model that we’ve had that’s meant so much to so many is becoming further and further away from too many.”

Responding to the criticism, Clinton made an announcement Friday that she donated her fees to the personal family foundation. (But if this NY Times piece from last year is any indication, the complaints are unlikely to cease.)

Professor Harry R. Lewis of Harvard told the Washington Post:

… speaking fees at Clinton’s level amount to “an extravagant form of advertising” for colleges that should focus instead on more scholastic initiatives.

“What makes fees at this level outrageous . . . is that one speaker’s fee becomes comparable to what it costs to educate a student for several years,” Lewis said. “At the same time you’re putting your students into serious debt, as most institutions do; it’s an allocation of resources that’s very suspect.”

But it’s unclear whether the mainstream media will keep on Clinton about this topic, just as they did with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012 — especially since Romney’s fees didn’t come close to Clinton’s.

Romney faced extreme hassle by the media during the 2012 campaign about his speaking fees. But his disclosure forms show a total of “$374,000 for nine speeches.” That works out to approximately $41,592 per speech.

If Mrs. Clinton wants to be the Democratic presidential front-runner in 2016, she may have a difficult time defending her campus payments, as well as from these “enemies of the 99 percent.”

After all, there’s no end in sight, as in the same interview where she said she was “dead broke,” she also stated giving speeches “was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company as so many people who leave public life do.”

Editor’s note: This post was modified to reflect Clinton’s announcement that she donated the speaking fees to her personal foundation.

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Penn State/Flickr