On July 24th, 2009, the Arizona Daily Star reports that Citigroup, which received $45 billion in Federal TARP bailout money, is donating $1.75 million to the Latino supremacist group National Council of La Raza (NCLR). A more detailed story has also been published by Yahoo Finance; NCLR's own announcement regurgitates the Yahoo story.
Of that total, $235,000 will go to its Raza Development Fund, which will allow the fund to acquire, maintain and rehab properties for sale or lease. Raza Development Fund chief Tom Espinoza says the fund will add about $4 million and federal stimulus program money will boost the total to about $12 million to target bank-owned vacant foreclosed properties. Initially, Espinoza hopes that at least 100 families in three hard-hit Hispanic neighborhoods in Phoenix will be able to buy homes. If successful in Phoenix, the program will expand into other high foreclosure markets with a concentration of Latino residents, such as Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Citi’s support of NCLR also includes pre-development funding for the building of charter schools, health centers, affordable housing and community centers in low- and moderate-income Hispanic communities through the Raza Development Fund’s Latino Social Venture Fund in such markets as Chicago, Newark and New York. The grant also helps community-based organizations develop financial strategies to withstand the current economic downturn.
Since 2004, Citi and Citi Foundation have provided NCLR and RDF with more than $8 million in grants and contributions that support community development and capacity building across the country. Citi is also a sponsor of NCLR’s annual conference, which will be held July 25-28, 2009 in Chicago.
While Citigroup could undoubtedly bring out their books to "prove" that the money may not have directly come from TARP funds, the appearance is damning. It looks like taxpayer-financed racism. People were outraged when corporations used TARP funds to pay bonuses to executives; they should be just as outraged over this. Not unexpectedly, comments posted to the Arizona Star story are overwhelmingly critical. Likewise, comments on Stormfront are also critical.
You can contact Citigroup HERE and tell them what you think of this program.