Jack Dorsey Gives Grant Money to Andrew Yang

We live in polarizing times, which isn’t news to anyone who may read this. Going back to the days of George W. Bush, the United States has been very polarized, with polarizing figures emerging on both sides of the aisle. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, and Andrew Yang, a former Presidential nominee and famed socialist-like businessman, are teaming up to hand out $5 million in micro-grants due to the coronavirus pandemic affecting the US. Both men are very polarizing.

In an objective sense, people receiving the financial help they so desperately need is a good thing. Though many critics are already starting to wonder and worry more about who will not be allowed to receive the grants, given Dorsey’s track record.

Twitter is one of the most popular social media networks in existence, to be sure, though it’s also one of the most draconian. Some may even argue it’s Orwellian. No matter where one stands politically, it is a fact that right-wing Twitter users are throttled, and the likes of Alex Jones are outright disallowed from participating in open dialogue, due to the fact that they often give misinformation and push conspiracy theories. While it’s understandable that a private platform may want to keep that sort of stuff out of the public eye, which is their right to do, all evidence does show that it only works one way. For instance, when Rachel Maddow, a more popular figure and a famous host on MSNBC, pushes objective misinformation about the Russian collusion conspiracy, which has been debunked, she’s not only allowed to do so on Dorsey’s platform, but is promoted.

This is not any piece taking political sides. It is simply pointing out the context of why many are already criticizing Dorsey, suggesting that people who are in desperate need of this money may not receive it, if they happen to be on the right-wing, against abortion, against illegal immigration, etc. Some feel that Dorsey will put the same sorts of stipulations on his money as he does on his website. This is absolutely his right to do, though it does present bad optics, in that people with “wrongthink” may be ineligible to receive grant assistance, even if they truly need the help.

At this point, it’s all speculation, and in fact note likely through Yang’s organization. Yang is famous for his “Freedom Dividend” plan, a form of Universal Basic Income (UBI), that would give every American over the age of 18 a guaranteed $1,000 per month, no matter what. So, many feel that Yang would not be so political with money when it comes to giving out grants to people in need.

These grants are coming from Yang’s nonprofit Humanity Forward, and it was announced on Thursday, May 21, that 20,000 people will be receiving $250. So far, what we know is that the only stipulations of this grant are that people be low-income individuals or families who have lost their jobs. So while critics might suggest Dorsey simply wants to curry favor among a political base, the fact is that it doesn’t appear to be the case, which is a good thing.

The Question of Qualified Recipients

When popular figures give out money for grants, loans, etc, there are always questions of qualified recipients, and for good reason. We have seen multiple times in America, even from the American government, that only certain groups qualify. One of the more recent examples would be President Trump announcing an amendment of sorts to the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, whereby African-Americans and Latinos would receive more stimulus money than Caucasian or Asian individuals. No matter where one stands on that decision, it is objectively factual to point out that it’s discriminating against some in order to bolster others, supposedly what America is deadest against in this current progressive age.

Though because these communities are disproportionately impoverished, no one raises a stink about the favoritism showed.

This is far from the only time it has happened. Celebrities are famous for putting strict qualifications on their donations, like picking and choosing which people will receive help.

It’s a good thing to give money to those who need it, though whether or not it should come with stipulations that disqualify swaths of people is decidedly a morally gray area. Hopefully the grant money from Humanity Forward goes to those in actual need and doesn’t skip over anyone if they happen to hold the wrong politics.

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