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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Sharpton: Firing of Cop Who Killed Eric Garner ‘Nothing to Celebrate’

"Members of Eric Garner’s family expressed gratefulness but no satisfaction to the announcement that New York City’s police commissioner fired the officer who killed their father after five years of waiting. Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking alongside members of Garner’s family, called the decision terminating Daniel Pantaleo “nothing to celebrate because Pantaleo will go home a terminated man but this family had to go to a funeral.” Sharpton criticized the city for taking so long to punish Pantaleo for what police said was his use of a prohibited chokehold that killed Garner in 2014. Garner’s daughter, Emerald Snipes, 26, thanked the police commissioner “for doing the right thing” but said she won’t stop fighting for police reform. “I will do everything in my power to never see another Eric Garner.”

Sharpton: Firing of Cop Who Killed Eric Garner ‘Nothing to Celebrate’

US high school students appear to give Nazi salute at sports ceremony | US news | The Guardian

Students appear to give a salute in video at Pacifica high school in Garden Grove, California.

US high school students appear to give Nazi salute at sports ceremony | US news | The Guardian

Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar address Israel travel controversy

Bernie Sanders calls for a ban on police use of facial recognition

Presidential Candidates Hit The Soapbox At The Iowa State Fair

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has called for a complete ban on the police use of facial recognition as part of his campaign’s broader plan for criminal justice reform. If elected president, Sanders specifically pledges to “ban the use of facial recognition software for policing.” The plan also calls for ending programs that provide military equipment to local police and establishing federal standards for the use of body cameras.
Sanders is the first presidential candidate to call for an outright ban on police use of facial recognition, although a number of other Democratic candidates have expressed concerns about how the technology is being used. Last year, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined with other senators in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, raising concerns about racial bias in facial recognition algorithms.
Facial recognition has been the subject of increasing scrutiny in recent months, much of it spurred by a study from Georgetown Law. The study found that the New York Police Department has sometimes altered images before inputting them into the department’s facial recognition system. In one case, it even used a picture of the actor Woody Harrelson, based on a tip that the suspect resembled Harrelson.
In July, the city of Oakland voted to ban the municipal use of facial recognition, following similar moves by San Francisco and Somerville, Massachusetts. But aside from Sanders’ proposal, there has been little appetite for a similar commitment by the federal government, which uses facial recognition extensively in processing visa holders as they enter and leave the country.

Bernie Sanders calls for a ban on police use of facial recognition

Bias In Medicine: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Racism In 2019, From Trump To Netanyahu

Must Reads: For many black voters, 2020 isn’t about pride or making history. It’s about beating Trump - Los Angeles Times


This article is stating a sad reality. I am with Kenyan Carter at the end of the article but most African Americans seem to want to play it safe with Joe Biden.
"Catrena Norris Carter is a bundle of conflicting impulses.
As a black woman, she’s delighted with Kamala Harris’ presidential bid. As a liberal activist, she’s thrilled with Elizabeth Warren’s groaning board of progressive policy proposals.
But as someone consumed with defeating President Trump, Carter is determined to think with her head, not her heart, and that cold calculation is pushing her toward Joe Biden among the crowded 2020 Democratic field.
The former vice president may not excite her like some candidates. But he boasts one asset that, to Carter’s mind, surpasses all others: As a white male firmly embedded in the political establishment, Biden — more than a female or black candidate — stands the best chance of winning the White House.
“We really need to be taking the temperature of the entire country,” said Carter, 51, who two years ago helped rally black women across Alabama to put Democrat Doug Jones in the U.S. Senate. “Not just people who think like us.”
Black voters, and black women in particular, are the bedrock of the Democratic Party. Given their large numbers in early-voting states such as South Carolina, Alabama and Louisiana, they will have tremendous sway in choosing the party’s nominee. Some believe that tilts the race away from Biden, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke or other relatively centrist white males in favor of a more progressive candidate or person of color.
But nationwide polling, focus group interviews and conversations with campaign strategists, voters and political activists across Alabama suggest many African Americans aren’t focused on policy or making history by, say, putting Harris or another woman in the White House.
“They are so sick and tired of being sick and tired of Trump, there’s this almost unconscious feeling they’re going to go with the candidate that is more likely to beat him,” said Ron Lester, a Washington pollster who has spent decades surveying the attitudes of black voters.
For many, Lester said, “that is probably a white male,” given their deep-seated belief “that America is still a very racist place and a very misogynistic place and that a candidate who doesn’t get any white votes is probably going to lose.”
Not all agree.
We really need to be taking the temperature of the entire country. Not just people who think like us.
Alabama political activist Catrena Norris Carter
Steven Reed, a candidate for mayor of Montgomery, said that “looking for the safest bet is a recipe for disappointment” in November 2020.
“We need the best candidate with the best ideas and with the best opportunity to win and then implement that agenda,” said Reed, a county probate judge who is neutral in Alabama’s March 3 primary. “I don’t think playing it safe is the route Democrats should take if they want to win, if they want to excite the base, if they want to get out nontraditional voters and win over swing voters.”
Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC, a left-leaning political action committee, noted that Barack Obama initially faced deep skepticism among African Americans, who strongly preferred Hillary Clinton early in the 2008 contest. It was only after Obama beat Clinton in Iowa and demonstrated his appeal to the state’s white voters that black supporters flocked to his candidacy, delivering him the Democratic nomination.
“People are nervous because the country is in such peril,” Shropshire said. “People need to have some historical perspective.”
But the stated willingness — for now — of many black voters to focus on electability or settle for less than their ideal candidate is one reason Biden has emerged as the early Democratic front-runner. It also points up the challenges facing Harris and New Jersey’s African American senator, Cory Booker, who are banking on racial pride to help boost them from the congested pack, and women like Massachusetts Sen. Warren, who are counting on a measure of feminist solidarity.
“My pragmatic side says that the person that can win this election is someone more in the middle, that’s not going to come out for [repealing] the death penalty and reparations,” said Faya Touré, 74, a veteran civil rights activist in Selma. She sat amid a museum-like collection of African art in her law office, blocks from the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where in 1965 blacks seeking the right to vote were clubbed and attacked with tear gas.
“I would love a candidate that would do that,” Touré continued. “But I don’t think that candidate’s going to win this election.”
Faya Touré doubts a candidate who shares her views on abolishing the death penalty and paying reparations for slavery could win the White House.
(Mark Z. Barabak / Los Angeles Times)
If Obama’s history-making campaign was buoyed by hope and aspiration, many black voters regard the 2020 election with feelings more akin to resignation and risk aversion. Far from proving the country’s open-mindedness and racial progress, they said, the backlash to the nation’s first African American president only underscored its deep and abiding racial divide.
“What happened after we elected Obama?” asked Touré. “Voter suppression laws. White supremacy. Hate crimes. The tea party…. Without an Obama, there would never have been a Trump.”
The litany of grievance among African Americans is deep and wide: Trump’s reference to black and brown “shithole countries,” his condemnation of black athletes protesting police abuse and racial disparities, his equivocal response to the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va.
The robust economy is no salve.
While the black unemployment rate was 6.7% in April, the lowest in decades, that has not translated into widespread African American support for the president or his economic policies. A recent survey conducted for BlackPAC found 90% of likely black voters believed conditions had stagnated under Trump or gotten worse. A January Pew poll gave him similarly poor marks.
“The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is spiraling down, while all is supposed to be right with the world,” said Materia Gipson, 61, a retired Birmingham schoolteacher who is shopping for a candidate even though she looks favorably on Biden.
The former senator from Delaware didn’t fare particularly well with African Americans in his two previous runs for president. But now, at age 76, there is an old-shoe familiarity, along with appreciation for Biden’s unswerving loyalty as Obama’s vice president in the face of what many consider unfair and racially motivated attacks.
“The conversation in the barber shop and beauty salons is that Biden was there for Obama, he had his back … he’s a really close friend, so it makes them feel like they have a relationship, even if they’ve never met him,” said Anthony Daniels, who leads Democrats in Alabama’s House of Representatives. “A lot of times in the African American community they don’t trade old friends for new friends.”
Parts of Biden’s political past continue to rankle.
More than four decades ago, early in his Senate career, Biden was a vocal opponent of busing aimed at school desegregation. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he was widely criticized for his treatment of Anita Hill during the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Biden was also instrumental in passing a 1994 anti-crime bill criticized for contributing to the mass incarceration of black Americans.
“Kids whose daddies suffered under Joe Biden aren’t going to forget,” said Shante Wolfe-Sisson, a 25-year-old Birmingham political activist, whose preference runs more toward the left-leaning Warren or Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Polls suggest that older African Americans are more forgiving, supporting Biden to a greater extent than young black voters.
“We have to learn from things, and hopefully he did,” said Gipson, the retired Birmingham teacher, who brushed aside controversies over Hill and Biden’s tactile campaign style. “I want to look at bigger issues than touching somebody or what happened to Anita Hill. Some things you need to get past and look at the big picture.”
Kenyan Carter, though, has a hard time getting past a lot of things he doesn’t like about Biden.
Kenyan Carter is no fan of Joe Biden. But he'll vote for him if he's the Democratic nominee facing President Trump.
He’s out of touch, said the 21-year-old University of South Alabama journalism student, as his mother, activist Catrena Norris Carter, alternately shook her head and smiled indulgently. He’s too squishy when it comes to fighting climate change, Kenyan Carter went on, and seems too beholden to corporate interests.
“Biden to me is how you get people like Trump,” Carter said. “Biden is how you get people disassociated from politics because you get people like him in power.”
The younger Carter hasn’t yet settled on a candidate, but he volunteered last month at a Sanders rally in Birmingham and loves “how scared [Warren] makes Wall Street people and CEOs.”
That said, Carter will vote for Biden — grudgingly — if he becomes the Democratic nominee.
Anything, he said, to be rid of Trump."

Must Reads: For many black voters, 2020 isn’t about pride or making history. It’s about beating Trump - Los Angeles Times

Trump Used Asian Accent to Mock US Allies at Fundraiser

Trump Used Asian Accent to Mock US Allies at Fundraiser

Proud Boys organize rally of far right protesters in Portland

Proud Boys organize rally of far right protesters in Portland

The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics

Trump's Immigration policy has deep American and Nazi roots (America First was a pre-WWII Pro Nazi Movement supported by Fred Trump.Donald's father)

"Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a co-called "Master Race."

But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn't originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little known, role in the American eugenics movement's campaign for ethnic cleansing.

Eugenics was the racist pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings deemed "unfit," preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in twenty-seven states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in "colonies," and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.

California was considered an epicenter of the American eugenics movement. During the Twentieth Century's first decades, California's eugenicists included potent but little known race scientists, such as Army venereal disease specialist Dr. Paul Popenoe, citrus magnate and Polytechnic benefactor Paul Gosney, Sacramento banker Charles M. Goethe, as well as members of the California State Board of Charities and Corrections and the University of California Board of Regents.

Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America's most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Stamford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics' racist aims.

Stanford president David Starr Jordan originated the notion of "race and blood" in his 1902 racial epistle "Blood of a Nation," in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood.

In 1904, the Carnegie Institution established a laboratory complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nation's social service agencies and associations.

The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, trumped up confinement or forced sterilization.

The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.

Much of the spiritual guidance and political agitation for the American eugenics movement came from California's quasi-autonomous eugenic societies, such as the Pasadena-based Human Betterment Foundation and the California branch of the American Eugenics Society, which coordinated much of their activity with the Eugenics Research Society in Long Island. These organizations--which functioned as part of a closely-knit network--published racist eugenic newsletters and pseudoscientific journals, such as Eugenical News and Eugenics, and propagandized for the Nazis.

Eugenics was born as a scientific curiosity in the Victorian age. In 1863, Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, theorized that if talented people only married other talented people, the result would be measurably better offspring. At the turn of the last century, Galton's ideas were imported into the United States just as Gregor Mendel's principles of heredity were rediscovered. American eugenic advocates believed with religious fervor that the same Mendelian concepts determining the color and size of peas, corn and cattle also governed the social and intellectual character of man.

In an America demographically reeling from immigration upheaval and torn by post-Reconstruction chaos, race conflict was everywhere in the early twentieth century. Elitists, utopians and so-called "progressives" fused their smoldering race fears and class bias with their desire to make a better world. They reinvented Galton's eugenics into a repressive and racist ideology. The intent: populate the earth with vastly more of their own socio-economic and biological kind--and less or none of everyone else.

The superior species the eugenics movement sought was populated not merely by tall, strong, talented people. Eugenicists craved blond, blue-eyed Nordic types. This group alone, they believed, was fit to inherit the earth. In the process, the movement intended to subtract emancipated Negroes, immigrant Asian laborers, Indians, Hispanics, East Europeans, Jews, dark-haired hill folk, poor people, the infirm and really anyone classified outside the gentrified genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists.

How? By identifying so-called "defective" family trees and subjecting them to lifelong segregation and sterilization programs to kill their bloodlines. The grand plan was to literally wipe away the reproductive capability of those deemed weak and inferior--the so-called "unfit." The eugenicists hoped to neutralize the viability of 10 percent of the population at a sweep, until none were left except themselves.

Eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported 1911 "Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder's Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population." Point eight was euthanasia.

The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in America was a "lethal chamber" or public locally operated gas chambers. In 1918, Popenoe, the Army venereal disease specialist during World War I, co-wrote the widely used textbook, Applied Eugenics, which argued, "From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution… Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated." Applied Eugenics also devoted a chapter to "Lethal Selection," which operated "through the destruction of the individual by some adverse feature of the environment, such as excessive cold, or bacteria, or by bodily deficiency."

Eugenic breeders believed American society was not ready to implement an organized lethal solution. But many mental institutions and doctors practiced improvised medical lethality and passive euthanasia on their own. One institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk from tubercular cows believing a eugenically strong individual would be immune. Thirty to forty percent annual death rates resulted at Lincoln. Some doctors practiced passive eugenicide one newborn infant at a time. Others doctors at mental institutions engaged in lethal neglect.

Nonetheless, with eugenicide marginalized, the main solution for eugenicists was the rapid expansion of forced segregation and sterilization, as well as more marriage restrictions. California led the nation, performing nearly all sterilization procedures with little or no due process. In its first twenty-five years of eugenic legislation, California sterilized 9,782 individuals, mostly women. Many were classified as "bad girls," diagnosed as "passionate," "oversexed" or "sexually wayward." At Sonoma, some women were sterilized because of what was deemed an abnormally large clitoris or labia.

In 1933 alone, at least 1,278 coercive sterilizations were performed, 700 of which were on women. The state's two leading sterilization mills in 1933 were Sonoma State Home with 388 operations and Patton State Hospital with 363 operations. Other sterilization centers included Agnews, Mendocino, Napa, Norwalk, Stockton and Pacific Colony state hospitals.

Even the United States Supreme Court endorsed aspects of eugenics. In its infamous 1927 decision, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough." This decision opened the floodgates for thousands to be coercively sterilized or otherwise persecuted as subhuman. Years later, the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials quoted Holmes's words in their own defense.

Only after eugenics became entrenched in the United States was the campaign transplanted into Germany, in no small measure through the efforts of California eugenicists, who published booklets idealizing sterilization and circulated them to German officials and scientists.

Hitler studied American eugenics laws. He tried to legitimize his anti-Semitism by medicalizing it, and wrapping it in the more palatable pseudoscientific facade of eugenics. Hitler was able to recruit more followers among reasonable Germans by claiming that science was on his side. While Hitler's race hatred sprung from his own mind, the intellectual outlines of the eugenics Hitler adopted in 1924 were made in America.

During the '20s, Carnegie Institution eugenic scientists cultivated deep personal and professional relationships with Germany's fascist eugenicists. In Mein Kampf, published in 1924, Hitler quoted American eugenic ideology and openly displayed a thorough knowledge of American eugenics. "There is today one state," wrote Hitler, "in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States."

Hitler proudly told his comrades just how closely he followed the progress of the American eugenics movement. "I have studied with great interest," he told a fellow Nazi, "the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock."

Hitler even wrote a fan letter to American eugenic leader Madison Grant calling his race-based eugenics book, The Passing of the Great Race his "bible."

Hitler's struggle for a superior race would be a mad crusade for a Master Race. Now, the American term "Nordic" was freely exchanged with "Germanic" or "Aryan." Race science, racial purity and racial dominance became the driving force behind Hitler's Nazism. Nazi eugenics would ultimately dictate who would be persecuted in a Reich-dominated Europe, how people would live, and how they would die. Nazi doctors would become the unseen generals in Hitler's war against the Jews and other Europeans deemed inferior. Doctors would create the science, devise the eugenic formulas, and even hand-select the victims for sterilization, euthanasia and mass extermination.

During the Reich's early years, eugenicists across America welcomed Hitler's plans as the logical fulfillment of their own decades of research and effort. California eugenicists republished Nazi propaganda for American consumption. They also arranged for Nazi scientific exhibits, such as an August 1934 display at the L.A. County Museum, for the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

In 1934, as Germany's sterilizations were accelerating beyond 5,000 per month, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe upon returning from Germany ebulliently bragged to a key colleague, "You will be interested to know, that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought.…I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people."

That same year, ten years after Virginia passed its sterilization act, Joseph DeJarnette, superintendent of Virginia's Western State Hospital, observed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "The Germans are beating us at our own game."

More than just providing the scientific roadmap, America funded Germany's eugenic institutions. By 1926, Rockefeller had donated some $410,000 -- almost $4 million in 21st-Century money -- to hundreds of German researchers. In May 1926, Rockefeller awarded $250,000 to the German Psychiatric Institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, later to become the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry. Among the leading psychiatrists at the German Psychiatric Institute was Ernst Rüdin, who became director and eventually an architect of Hitler's systematic medical repression.

Another in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute's eugenic complex of institutions was the Institute for Brain Research. Since 1915, it had operated out of a single room. Everything changed when Rockefeller money arrived in 1929. A grant of $317,000 allowed the Institute to construct a major building and take center stage in German race biology. The Institute received additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation during the next several years. Leading the Institute, once again, was Hitler's medical henchman Ernst Rüdin. Rüdin's organization became a prime director and recipient of the murderous experimentation and research conducted on Jews, Gypsies and others.

Beginning in 1940, thousands of Germans taken from old age homes, mental institutions and other custodial facilities were systematically gassed. Between 50,000 and 100,000 were eventually killed.

Leon Whitney, executive secretary of the American Eugenics Society declared of Nazism, "While we were pussy-footing around…the Germans were calling a spade a spade."

A special recipient of Rockefeller funding was the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin. For decades, American eugenicists had craved twins to advance their research into heredity. The Institute was now prepared to undertake such research on an unprecedented level. On May 13, 1932, the Rockefeller Foundation in New York dispatched a radiogram to its Paris office: JUNE MEETING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS OVER THREE YEAR PERIOD TO KWG INSTITUTE ANTHROPOLOGY FOR RESEARCH ON TWINS AND EFFECTS ON LATER GENERATIONS OF SUBSTANCES TOXIC FOR GERM PLASM.

At the time of Rockefeller's endowment, Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a hero in American eugenics circles, functioned as a head of the Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics. Rockefeller funding of that Institute continued both directly and through other research conduits during Verschuer's early tenure. In 1935, Verschuer left the Institute to form a rival eugenics facility in Frankfurt that was much heralded in the American eugenic press. Research on twins in the Third Reich exploded, backed up by government decrees. Verschuer wrote in Der Erbarzt, a eugenic doctor's journal he edited, that Germany's war would yield a "total solution to the Jewish problem."

Verschuer had a long-time assistant. His name was Josef Mengele. On May 30, 1943, Mengele arrived at Auschwitz. Verschuer notified the German Research Society, "My assistant, Dr. Josef Mengele (M.D., Ph.D.) joined me in this branch of research. He is presently employed as Hauptsturmführer [captain] and camp physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Anthropological testing of the most diverse racial groups in this concentration camp is being carried out with permission of the SS Reichsführer [Himmler]."

Mengele began searching the boxcar arrivals for twins. When he found them, he performed beastly experiments, scrupulously wrote up the reports and sent the paperwork back to Verschuer's institute for evaluation. Often, cadavers, eyes and other body parts were also dispatched to Berlin's eugenic institutes.

Rockefeller executives never knew of Mengele. With few exceptions, the foundation had ceased all eugenic studies in Nazi-occupied Europe before the war erupted in 1939. But by that time the die had been cast. The talented men Rockefeller and Carnegie financed, the institutions they helped found, and the science it helped create took on a scientific momentum of their own.

After the war, eugenics was declared a crime against humanity--an act of genocide. Germans were tried and they cited the California statutes in their defense. To no avail. They were found guilty.

However, Mengele's boss Verschuer escaped prosecution. Verschuer re-established his connections with California eugenicists who had gone underground and renamed their crusade "human genetics." Typical was an exchange July 25, 1946 when Popenoe wrote Verschuer, "It was indeed a pleasure to hear from you again. I have been very anxious about my colleagues in Germany…. I suppose sterilization has been discontinued in Germany?" Popenoe offered tidbits about various American eugenic luminaries and then sent various eugenic publications. In a separate package, Popenoe sent some cocoa, coffee and other goodies.

Verschuer wrote back, "Your very friendly letter of 7/25 gave me a great deal of pleasure and you have my heartfelt thanks for it. The letter builds another bridge between your and my scientific work; I hope that this bridge will never again collapse but rather make possible valuable mutual enrichment and stimulation."

Soon, Verschuer once again became a respected scientist in Germany and around the world. In 1949, he became a corresponding member of the newly formed American Society of Human Genetics, organized by American eugenicists and geneticists.

In the fall of 1950, the University of Münster offered Verschuer a position at its new Institute of Human Genetics, where he later became a dean. In the early and mid-1950s, Verschuer became an honorary member of numerous prestigious societies, including the Italian Society of Genetics, the Anthropological Society of Vienna, and the Japanese Society for Human Genetics.

Human genetics' genocidal roots in eugenics were ignored by a victorious generation that refused to link itself to the crimes of Nazism and by succeeding generations that never knew the truth of the years leading up to war. Now governors of five states, including California have issued public apologies to their citizens, past and present, for sterilization and other abuses spawned by the eugenics movement.

Human genetics became an enlightened endeavor in the late twentieth century. Hard-working, devoted scientists finally cracked the human code through the Human Genome Project. Now, every individual can be biologically identified and classified by trait and ancestry. Yet even now, some leading voices in the genetic world are calling for a cleansing of the unwanted among us, and even a master human species.

There is understandable wariness about more ordinary forms of abuse, for example, in denying insurance or employment based on genetic tests. On October 14, America's first genetic anti-discrimination legislation passed the Senate by unanimous vote. Yet because genetics research is global, no single nation's law can stop the threats.

This article was first published in the San Francisco Chronicle and is reprinted with permission of the author."

The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics

Why an Heiress Spent Her Fortune Trying to Keep Immigrants Out

She was an heiress without a cause — an indifferent student, an unhappy young bride, a miscast socialite. Her most enduring passion was for birds.

But Cordelia Scaife May eventually found her life’s purpose: curbing what she perceived as the lethal threat of overpopulation by trying to shut America’s doors to immigrants.
She believed that the United States was “being invaded on all fronts” by foreigners, who “breed like hamsters” and exhaust natural resources. She thought that the border with Mexico should be sealed and that abortions on demand would contain the swelling masses in developing countries.

An heiress to the Mellon banking and industrial fortune with a half-billion dollars at her disposal, Mrs. May helped create what would become the modern anti-immigration movement. She bankrolled the founding and operation of the nation’s three largest restrictionist groups — the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies — as well as dozens of smaller ones, including some that have promulgated white nationalist views.

Today, 14 years after Mrs. May’s death, her money remains the lifeblood of the movement, through her Colcom Foundation. It has poured $180 million into a network of groups that spent decades agitating for policies now pursued by President Trump: militarizing the bordercapping legal immigrationprioritizing skills over family ties for entry and reducing access to public benefits for migrants, as in the new rule issued just this week by the administration.

From 2005 to 2017, the Colcom Foundation gave millions to anti-immigration and population-control groups, some with close ties to the Trump administration.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and current senior policy adviser Stephen Miller are longtime FAIR allies.
Californians for 
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
Miller was the keynote speaker at the CIS annual awards ceremony in 2015.
Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI)
Center for Immigration 
Studies (CIS)
Former FAIR director 
Julie Kirchner now the 
ombudsman of U.S. 
Citizenship and 
Immigration Services.
Kris Kobach, who led the president’s voter fraud commission, worked as a lawyer for IRLI.
Former CIS analyst Jon Feere is now 
a senior adviser to Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement.

Kellyanne Conway, the president's counselor, conducted polling for these groups.

Mrs. May’s story helps explain the ascendance of once-fringe views in the debate over immigration in America, including exaggerated claims of criminality, disease or dependency on public benefits among migrants. Though their methods radically diverged, Mrs. May and the killer in the recent mass shooting in El Paso applied the same language, both warning of an immigrant “invasion,” an idea also promoted by Mr. Trump.

In many ways, the Trump presidency is the culmination of Mrs. May’s vision for strictly limiting immigration. Groups that she funded shared policy proposals with Mr. Trump’s campaign, sent key staff members to join his administration and have close ties to Stephen Miller, the architect of his immigration agenda to upend practices adopted by his Democratic and Republican predecessors.

“She would have fit in very fine in the current White House,” said George Zeidenstein, whose mainstream population-control group Mrs. May supported before she shifted to anti-immigration advocacy. “She would have found a sympathetic ear with the present occupant.”

Unlike her more famous brother, the right-wing philanthropist and publisher Richard Mellon Scaife, Mrs. May largely stayed out of the public eye. A childless widow who lived alone outside Pittsburgh, she instructed associates not to reveal her philanthropic interests and in some cases even to destroy her correspondence. While her unlikely role as the quiet bursar to anti-immigration organizations has been previously reported, her motivation and engagement in the immigration issue remained largely hidden.
The New York Times, through dozens of interviews and searches of court records, government filings and archives across the country, has unearthed the most complete record of her thinking. Mrs. May’s unpublished writings reveal her evolution from an environmental-minded Theodore Roosevelt Republican — in 1972 she was the nation’s largest single donor to mainstream congressional candidates — to an ardent nativist. Her ideological transformation presaged the Republican Party’s own shift from blue-blooded, traditional conservatism toward hard-right populism.

Chatty, handwritten notes to John D. Rockefeller III, the philanthropist Helen Clay Frick and the head of the National Audubon Society about luncheons and overseas trips gradually gave way over the years to darker exchanges with fringe figures who believed that black people were less intelligent than white people, Latino immigrants were criminals and white Americans were being displaced.

But Mrs. May disputed the notion that she was racist, writing to a grant recipient in November 1994, “Can we not put imaginary paper bags over the immigrants’ heads, see them as colorless consumers, and count only their deleterious numbers?”
Restrictionist groups she financed have blocked attempts at amnesties and immigration reform bills in Congress over the years. They fought for Proposition 187 in California to deny education, routine health care and other public services to undocumented immigrants; they argued against in-state tuition for the children of undocumented workers in Utah. They supported “show me your papers” laws in Arizona and Georgia and draconian local ordinances in Hazleton, Pa., and Farmers Branch, Tex.

“We occupied the space before anybody, and the people who helped found the organization and fund the organization, including Mrs. May, were people of enormous foresight and wisdom,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, who knew Mrs. May. “They would be gratified over the fact that we’ve seen these ideas championed at the highest level.”

The groups have wasted little time seizing the moment since Donald Trump came to the White House. As Mr. Stein’s organization, known as FAIR, put it in a federal tax filing last year, Mr. Trump’s election presented “a unique opportunity” to enact its longstanding agenda of “building the wall, ending chain migration, rolling back dangerous sanctuary policies, eliminating the visa lottery” and more.

Nowhere in the document is the name of its largest benefactor ever mentioned.
“Without Cordy May, there’s no FAIR,” said Roger Conner, the organization’s first executive director. “There was no money without her.”

Two Passions Converge

Mrs. May’s immigration activism began in the 1970s, when the numbers of legal and illegal arrivals in the country were reaching heights unseen in decades. But she grew up during a period with the lowest levels of immigration in a century (and lower than any period since), thanks to a 1924 law that imposed strict quotas favoring Western European migrants. Her family lived in a part of the picturesque Ligonier Valley, outside Pittsburgh, that was more than 99 percent white when she was a child.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
When the first photographs of an infant Cordelia Mellon Scaife appeared in newspapers across the country, she was heralded as potentially “the richest baby in the world.” Her life would be one of privilege: Her family vacationed in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and in Palm Beach, Fla., their movements tracked in society columns.
Young Cordy grew up in a stately Cotswold-style manor, staffed with servants, known as Penguin Court. Her eccentric mother, Sarah Mellon Scaife, tried to breed emperor penguins to waddle the grounds after the craze over Adm. Richard E. Byrd’s Antarctic expeditions.
But Mrs. Scaife, a sharp-tongued art collector, was an alcoholic and her daughter later described her youth as largely miserable. A friend of her parents, the dancer-actor Fred Astaire, tried to help her get discovered in Hollywood when she was 19 but her trip was ill timed. “The only star around was Lassie,” she remarked to an author, Burton Hersh, writing about the Mellon family.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
After a marriage at age 20 that lasted just a few months, Mrs. May joined in the family tradition of philanthropy. Her mother had provided funding for Dr. Jonas Salk’s lab at the University of Pittsburgh, where he developed the polio vaccine. Mrs. May became active in local charities, including a children’s health center and a school for the blind, and started the Laurel Foundation in 1951, when she was 23, to channel her giving. She also donated to Republican candidates, both local and national.
But it was Margaret Sanger, the famous and, in some circles, scandalous founder of Planned Parenthood, who provided the sense of direction Mrs. May had craved. Mrs. Sanger was a close friend of her grandmother. Mrs. May acknowledged that it was not the birth control pioneer’s “works or ideals” that initially appealed to her but the fact that she had been jailed for her activities.
Mrs. May first worked for the Planned Parenthood chapter in Pittsburgh and later joined the board of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. “I have always admired and tried to take a part in the work that you started,” she wrote in a 1961 letter to Mrs. Sanger.
Mrs. May appeared to live relatively modestly, considering her means, but she kept a private jet nearby and flew around the world on nature expeditions. She was more comfortable banding birds at a wildlife sanctuary than hobnobbing at a cocktail party. She lived in the woods in Ligonier in a house she called Cold Comfort, after the satirical British novel “Cold Comfort Farm.” (The book’s heroine meddles in the lives of her distant rural relations and even counsels a servant about birth control.)
Her twin passions, protecting natural habitats and helping women prevent unplanned pregnancies, merged over time into a single goal of preserving the environment by discouraging offspring altogether. “The unwanted child is not the problem,” she would later write, “but, rather, the wanted one that society, for diverse cultural reasons, demands.”

Colcom Foundation giving to anti-immigration and population-control groups dwarfed its giving to environmental and other causes.

Federation for American Immigration Reform

$56.7 million

$58.2 million
Center for Immigration Studies

$17.6 million
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

$13.7 million
Immigration & population control

$179.9 million

$76.3 million
Source: Colcom Foundation tax filings for fiscal years 2005-17. | By Weiyi Cai

For some of America’s elite in the 1960s and ’70s, supporting efforts to limit population growth was partly an act of noblesse oblige. The Fords donated millions for United Nations-backed family planning projects worldwide.
Mrs. May joined the board of the Population Council, a group founded by John D. Rockefeller III that emphasized family planning and economic development as ways to lower birthrates around the world. She and some relatives together contributed $11.4 million to the council during the 1960s, and Mrs. May joined the group’s president, Frank Notestein, on trips to Asia to review projects.

Bachrach/Getty Images
Overpopulation became an even more mainstream concern in the United States after the runaway success of “The Population Bomb,” the 1968 book by the Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich. After the enormous bulge of baby boomers, many Americans came to favor smaller families.
But a 1973 letter to the Population Council from Mrs. May’s office revealed her increasingly tough stance on population control. Contraceptives had made too little impact, the letter said.
“Although we are conscious of the highly sensitive nature of this subject,” it said, “we feel confident that the leadership position of the council in the population field can be used to greatly accelerate the availability of abortion services worldwide on an ‘abortion upon request’ basis.”

Sealed Borders and Sterilization

In August 1973, Mrs. May secretly remarried, this time to her childhood friend and longtime companion Robert W. Duggan, the district attorney in the county that includes Pittsburgh. The couple paid $5 for a justice of the peace in Nevada to wed them in a remote spot on Lake Tahoe.

United Press International
When the marriage was disclosed, it made front-page news in Pittsburgh, in part because her new husband was fighting to stay out of prison amid a federal corruption probe. The swift nuptials had come between his appearances before a grand jury, and just days after Mrs. May was summoned by the Internal Revenue Service.
Six months later, Mr. Duggan was indicted for evading taxes on payoffs he received from an illegal gambling ring. The same day, he was found dead at his country house, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Mrs. May blamed her brother for turning on her husband. The siblings had long shared advisers, worked on charitable matters together and helped each other, but the rupture was so complete that they stopped speaking. The scandal and the ensuing tragedy in essence robbed Mrs. May of her two closest confidants.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
In a letter to her fellow Pittsburgh-born heiress Helen Clay Frick, Mrs. May described how she had “wangled a cabin from a ranger in a remote canyon in Arizona,” where, she said, she had responded to nearly 2,500 condolence cards. She turned her attention to population meetings at an upcoming United Nations conference, which, she wryly concluded, would feature demands for wealth redistribution and “a thorough denunciation of the United States.”
By the end of the year, after more than two decades working with Planned Parenthood, she had resigned from the group. Two years later, her top aide delivered a stern message to Mr. Zeidenstein, the new president of the Population Council: Family planning and famine relief were a waste of money. Instead, “the U.S. should seal its border” with Mexico. According to a memo by Mr. Zeidenstein, Mrs. May’s views were becoming so radicalized that “one got the impression” she favored compulsory sterilization to limit birthrates in developing countries.
Mr. Rockefeller, taken aback by Mrs. May’s shift, wrote to her that he “had not been aware that differences of this seeming magnitude existed between us.” She responded that she would have severed ties sooner if not for her regard for him, and sent him the mission statement for a new group she had bankrolled, the Environmental Fund.
Buried in the document was a telling reference. “Immigration,” the statement said, “should also be brought into balance with emigration immediately.”

The New Nativists
Articles in this series will examine the evolution of hard-line immigration politics.

Courting Mrs. May

The Environmental Fund pushed mainstream concerns about overpopulation to the fringe and stoked opposition to immigration. Virginia Abernethy, a self-described “ethnic separatist” who became involved in the group, now called Population-Environment Balance, said in an interview that Mrs. May was “the first person who comes to mind” of those who pushed the population-control movement to oppose immigration.
“She funded a great deal of the original research,” said Ms. Abernethy, a retired Vanderbilt University professor who spoke last year at a white nationalist conference headlined by the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Through her work with the fund, the heiress struck up a close friendship with Garrett Hardin, a microbiologist and ecologist who argued that the modern welfare state encouraged overpopulation and ecological depletion. When Mrs. May sent him news clippings about riots in Los Angeles, Mr. Hardin responded that the media was finally seeing that “maybe the blacks are less than saintly” and lamented “the predominant Latinity of apprehended criminals” where he lived in California.
“The hope of the future,” he said, “lies in the intelligent practice of discrimination.”
She also met John Tanton, a charismatic eye doctor and environmentalist from Michigan, who would leverage Mrs. May’s financial resources to propel the budding anti-immigration movement forward.

Alan R. Kamuda/Detroit Free Press, via ZUMA
With the square-jawed good looks of a soap opera M.D., Dr. Tanton, who died last month at 85, worked with Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club and was the national president of Zero Population Growth in the 1970s. As the Baby Boom ebbed, he turned his attention to curbing immigration.
In 1978, immigration surged: The Border Patrol apprehended 863,000 unauthorized immigrants, the most in over two decades. Another 601,000 legal immigrants also arrived, the greatest number since the 1924 immigration act. U.S. News & World Report published a cover story the next year sounding the alarm about chaos at the border with “illegal aliens.”
That November, Dr. Tanton wrote a nine-page proposal for funding from Mrs. May to start a group called the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR.
“We plan to make the restriction of immigration a legitimate position for thinking people,” he wrote. Mrs. May provided $50,000 to get the group off the ground.
FAIR’s early policy goals, some reflected decades later in proposals pursued by the Trump administration, called for not only an end to illegal immigration, but also a sharp reduction in legal migration. The group advocated increased funding and staffing for Border Patrol to police the southern frontier, campaigned against Cuban refugees and pushed to restrict public benefits for undocumented immigrants.
Dr. Tanton redoubled his attention to Mrs. May with flowery letters quoting Shakespeare, research into birds she was curious about and recommendations for a game ranch in Kenya. He invited her to a nature preserve in Michigan.
His internal memorandums betrayed the cold calculus behind his attentions. “Mrs. May has been our single biggest supporter. She just gave us another $400,000,” he wrote. “That relationship is pretty well under control.”
Patrick Burns, an early employee of FAIR who would often talk to Mrs. May at the group’s events, saw her as vulnerable. “She was isolated up in Ligonier and John was a predator who got inside her perimeter wire and basically found a source of money to fund the immigration reform movement,” he said in an interview. “John looked at Cordy as a buffalo to hunt and bone out for wealth.”

The Tanton-May Network

Mrs. May faced criticism even from within her family for the groups she supported. A young cousin asked whether her causes weren’t discriminatory, racist or, as Mrs. May recalled in a letter, “the one that really puts my teeth on edge … ‘elitist.’”
She produced a five-page typed response, rife with comments about Filipinos “pouring” into Hawaii and “Orientals and Indians” sneaking across “long stretches of unmanned border” with Canada.
She compared medical science’s success in reducing infant mortality rates to veterinarians prolonging the lives “of useless cattle.” Birthrates had dropped in a few areas, she noted, and millions died of starvation every year, but population growth rates continued to climb. “Even wars no longer make much dent; during 11 years of conflict, both North and South Vietnam showed a net increase in population,” she wrote.
Legal and illegal immigration led to overpopulation, she said, “the root cause of unemployment, inflation, urban sprawl, highway (and skyway) congestion, shortages of all sorts (not the least of which is energy), vanishing farmland, environmental deterioration and civil unrest.”
Mrs. May’s Laurel Foundation gave $5,000 to the Institute for Western Values to distribute a translation of the French dystopian novel “The Camp of the Saints” in the United States. The book, about an invasion of poor immigrants overwhelming Europe, is an essential text in white-nationalist circles and has often been cited by the former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. A subsequent English edition was published by the Social Contract Press, which was founded by Dr. Tanton and funded by Mrs. May’s foundation.
Mrs. May credited Dr. Tanton with helping her realize she could take a stand for her beliefs. “I used to think that you just had to take it,” she said during a 1985 visit to the offices of U.S. English, his initiative to make English the official language of the United States. “You don’t: You can organize and be active and do something about it.”

The Michigan Daily/Bentley Historical Library
Internal FAIR documents show that her advisers played just such an active role in the development of Dr. Tanton’s growing network of groups. Mrs. May’s longtime adviser Gregory Curtis advocated splitting off FAIR’s research component, which became the Center for Immigration Studies in 1986. Dr. Tanton also broke off FAIR’s litigation arm, and continued founding or fostering new groups.
The move was “critical in not just hiding the sources of funding, but it allowed his creations to meet the I.R.S.’s so-called public support test,” which prevents charities from relying too heavily on a single donor, said Charles Kamasaki, a fellow at the Migration Policy Institute who has worked on the pro-immigration side of the issue. “Part of Tanton’s genius, and it really was genius, was creating these multiple shells,” he said.
The sheer number of groups nurtured with Mrs. May’s money — dozens over four decades — played an important role in the success of the anti-immigration movement by giving it the appearance of broad-based support. Groups would send representatives to appear before Congress, talk to journalists and provide briefs in lawsuits, without disclosing their common origins and funding.
When Dr. Tanton had trouble getting grass-roots support for an Arizona ballot initiative in 1988 to require government business to be conducted only in English, he turned to Mrs. May to pay canvassers. When he decided in the 1980s to host a gathering of a brain trust to strengthen the intellectual underpinnings of the movement, Mrs. May committed $15,000 a year and the use of her Gulfstream jet.
Among those who attended over the years were Richard Lamm, then governor of Colorado, who co-wrote a book called “The Immigration Time Bomb,” and Jared Taylor, a white nationalist who has argued that black people are less intelligent than other races.
Charges of consorting with racists helped push Dr. Tanton to the fringe of acceptable debate, after a private memo he wrote warning of a “Latin onslaught” became public. Dr. Tanton fell further out of favor when it emerged that FAIR had secretly accepted more than $1 million from the Pioneer Fund, a group that embraced eugenics.

But Mrs. May remained loyal. “John became the one who would carry her legacy forward the way a son or a daughter would,” said Mr. Conner, the former executive director of FAIR, who has been critical of the turn the group took. “John assured her what she believed in her life would carry on.”

An Enduring and Vital Influence

In 1996, Mrs. May, then 68, established a new foundation, Colcom, to pursue her most important goals even after her death, including assisting charitable initiatives in Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania, as well as cultural and environmental causes.
But environmental groups were “doomed to failure,” she wrote in her nonprofit application to the I.R.S., until they recognized “that the degradation of our natural world results ultimately from the press of human numbers.” In addition to stricter immigration, she supported “the study of human intelligence as it relates to schools and the workplace” and “research in the area of human differences,” she explained, echoing the language of the eugenics movement.
According to tax documents, Colcom has funded not only FAIR and other large organizations Mrs. May helped create, but also lesser-known ones like the American Immigration Control Foundation, which has likened immigration to a “military conquest” with the effect of “substantially replacing the native population”; the International Services Assistance Fund, whose focus is promoting chemical sterilization of women around the world; and VDare, a website that regularly publishes white nationalists and whose name is derived from Virginia Dare, the first child of English settlers born in the New World.
John Rohe, vice president for philanthropy at Colcom, said “it’s impossible for me to know what every recipient of a grant from Colcom puts out,” but that racial discrimination had no place in Colcom’s views on immigration.
“We should have a pro-immigrant, nonracial immigration policy,” said Mr. Rohe, who previously worked with Dr. Tanton before joining Colcom. “It should not be based on race. It’s only based on the numbers.”
Colcom has given generously to a group once run by Dr. Tanton called U.S. Inc. Largely using money from Mrs. May, U.S. Inc. has funded immigration-related groups in at least 18 states and the District of Columbia.

Since 2005, the Colcom Foundation has given more than $150 million to groups in John Tanton’s anti-immigration network. More than $17 million went to U.S. Inc.

Cordelia Scaife May
Federation for 
Coalition for 
Center for 
Californians for 
The Social 

One of them was NumbersUSA, today the largest grass-roots organization in the country advocating reduced immigration. Its greatest success was helping to derail comprehensive immigration reform under President George W. Bush, by mobilizing supporters to flood their representatives with calls and faxes.
“Without them it would be a very different situation,” Roy Beck, the president of NumbersUSA, said of Colcom. “We’d be functioning at a very different level.”
NumbersUSA and the other main restrictionist groups funded by Mrs. May emphasize that they want stricter limits on immigration, but do not oppose all immigration. They reject any contention that prejudice or xenophobia motivates them. The Center for Immigration Studies sued the Southern Poverty Law Center for designating it a hate group, a label the law center has also applied to FAIR.
The nation’s failure to stop the Sept. 11 hijackers presented the anti-immigration groups with a powerful opportunity to link migration and security, driving a militarization of the border that continues to this day. From the rise of the Minutemen to the start of the Tea Party to the Trump presidency, the Tanton-May network has harnessed each surge of anti-immigration sentiment.
The main groups cultivated new allies in Congress, none stronger than Jeff Sessions, then a senator from Alabama, whose office served as an unofficial Capitol Hill headquarters for the restrictionist movement. Mr. Sessions, who later became attorney general in the Trump administration, hired as a spokesman Stephen Miller, who would give a keynote address at a Center for Immigration Studies event years later, in 2015, before joining the Trump campaign.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
Though her money and activism seeded the political landscape for Mr. Trump’s nativist policies — he argues that “the country is full,” claims Mexicans are “dirty” and “dangerous” and immigrants are stealing jobs — the heiress would not see the Queens real estate heir ascend to the presidency. Mrs. May, who had pancreatic cancer, died at her home in 2005, at age 76. Her death was ruled a suicide by asphyxiation.
She left land on the island of Maui to the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. Her Gulfstream jet was sold for $26.7 million. She was remembered in the local press for her devotion to the environment and family planning, her support of Pittsburgh’s aviary and her quixotic bequest to a donkey sanctuary in Devon, England. Her obituary in the local paper didn’t mention immigration at all.
Mrs. May left almost everything to the Colcom Foundation. In 2005, $215 million from her family trust poured into the foundation’s coffers, along with another $30 million from her personal estate. As her affairs were wound up, another $176 million transferred from her estate in 2006.
In all, since Mrs. May’s death, the anti-immigration groups have received $180 million. The market value of Colcom’s assets is $500 million, more than she bequeathed it in the first place.

Ross Mantle for The New York Times
Thanks to her vast inherited fortune, Mrs. May’s ideas, and causes, survive her.
“The issues which I have supported during my lifetime have not been popular ones in many cases, nor do I anticipate that they will be so in the future,” Mrs. May wrote to Colcom’s board members in the group’s mission statement, calling on them “to exercise the courage of their convictions” after her death.
“The presence of controversy,” she said, “is often a certain sign that unexamined opinions are being challenged.”

Why an Heiress Spent Her Fortune Trying to Keep Immigrants Out