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The Freedom Foundation’s Dinesh D’Souza Problem

The anti-worker Freedom Foundation/Opt Out Today has sunk to a new low by choosing bigoted pundit, Dinesh D’Souza, as the keynote speaker at their annual gala at the Hilton Bellevue in Washington on September 28. The Hilton should show better judgment in who they allow to speak at their facilities. We call on the Hilton to cancel D’Souza’s appearance.

D’Souza has made millions from his racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and anti-working class writings and movies. He has heaped praise on growing income inequality and the strife that working people endure. He opposes the Civil Rights Act, called President Obama a “boy” from “the ghetto”, said that American slaves were treated “pretty well” and African Americans behave differently from other races through negative behavior and dependency. In college, as the editor of the student newspaper, he publicly outed LGBTQ students without their permission.

He is so extreme that even other conservatives dislike him. He was once banned from CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference), the annual gathering of Republican ideologues, because he mocked teenage survivors of school shootings. Many conservative thought leaders have accused him of being at the center of the intellectual rot occurring on the right.

When the Freedom Foundation announced D’Souza as the keynote for their fundraiser, Freedom Foundation CEO, Tom McCabe said of D’Souza, he’s “…a perfect fit for the Freedom Foundation.” For once, we agree with McCabe’s assessment.

D’Souza follows 2017 keynote speaker, Andy Puzder. Puzder, as you may recall, is an alleged domestic abuser and accused wage thief who actively opposed minimum increases as CEO of Hardees/Carl Jrs. He was Trump’s first failed nominee for Secretary of Labor.

The anti-worker Freedom Foundation/Opt Out Today has two diametrically opposed messages: what they tell public workers and what they tell their funders.

The Freedom Foundation tries to convince public sector workers that they are better off without their union in the hopes that if enough people drop, the union will cease to exist. They fund this mission by raising money from a who’s who of out-of-state extremist billionaires who would like to see an end to labor unions — including the Koch Brothers, the Walton Family, and the Wisconsin-based Bradley Foundation. This poses a problem for the Freedom Foundation: On the one hand, they need to convince union members that they care about their well-being and on the other hand they need to convince their out-of-state funders that they are actively working to destroy unions, lower wages, and gut pensions.

Nowhere is this conflict more pronounced than their annual fundraising event. It’s why you won’t see any footage of the event or what is likely to be an outrageous and bigoted speech by D’souza and why they pay a private security detail to monitor the event. If the happenings of their gala were to ever reach actual working people, the Freedom Foundation’s lies would be exposed.

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