Drummond Pike: Why does the right hate Soros?

Drummond Pike is the founder and chief executive officer of Tides Foundation.

Drummond Pike

Several months ago, the California Highway Patrol diverted a wacko fan of right-wing websites and Glenn Beck’s Fox News show from opening fire on our offices. After a 15-minute shootout, he was taken into custody and is now awaiting trial.

Among the many lies and misrepresentations repeated by the sites and shows that the gunman, Byron Williams, watched and listened to was the bizarre idea that George Soros “owns” the Tides organizations — through which he is allegedly pursuing a nefarious agenda to destroy America.

As a public charity, Tides is not owned by Soros, nor was it started by him. Soros is the founder and chairman of the Open Society Institute. It is just one of hundreds of funders that partner with Tides in programs to promote economic justice, democratic processes and human rights.

The Open Society funds are only a small percentage of Tides’ total contributions — far less than 5 percent of our $112 million total in 2009.

Amid the cacophony of screed, I didn’t focus on these lies about Soros. It has been bad enough to try to wrap my mind around how Beck and others were repeatedly labeling us “communists” and “socialists” and “anti-American” — on a channel that describes itself as “fair.”

Tides may be progressive, but we are enthusiastically American…

…maybe it’s because he is passionate about human rights and the plight of immigrants. His Open Society Foundations, for example, focus on the Roma people — marginalized immigrants throughout central Europe, and they have a long commitment to the people of Burma, where a military regime has attacked human rights for many years.

But Soros is somehow viewed as the avatar of evil by intolerant right-wing extremists.

This complete op-ed piece is at Politico.

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