This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. http://www.blackagendareport.com/node/14410 by Danny Haiphong “The masters of America’s corporate plantation are finding it harder and harder to cloak their crimes in the mythical idea of White benevolence.” At the same time that America’s racist government sent military reinforcements against the Black people of Ferguson, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge caught the hearts and minds of social media users all over the US. White America enthusiastically led the way in the promotion of this mindless act of charity. Day after day, White Americans poured ice-cold water on their heads in front of a camera for the “good cause” of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) disease research. It is undeniable that Lou Gehrig’s disease is a serious health issue. However, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has little to do with finding treatment for ALS and everything to do with the American Empire's need to foster White American, racist solidarity in a period of permanent of crisis. Corporate foundations and non-profits are the hidden beneficiaries of White racist solidarity. In this stage of the American corporate plantation, tax-exempt institutions are useful tools for the ruling class. For one, donors to charitable institutions receive a tax-deduction from the IRS. This means the corporate ruling class can count on paying even lower taxes than it already does, cashing in further on the plight of the working class. The ruling class claims the tax-deduction encourages private donations to necessary causes, but fails to mention that it is entirely up to the rich to decide what a “necessary” cause is and what isn't. Unsurprisingly, the rich usually invest the most dollars in things like education privatization (Gates and Walton Foundation), war (National Endowment for Democracy), and right-wing think-tanks (Heritage Foundation). Further, and to the added benefit of the rich, foundations and charities are lightly (barely) regulated by the state. The IRS requires charitable organizations to spend a meager 5 percent of their endowed assets in any given year on “reasonable costs.” Such costs are loosely defined and include the salaries of administrative staff. So, even for the most noble of “causes,” foundations can flexibly spend contributions however they like. It should come as no surprise that the corporate rulers of the American plantation use foundations as a profitable tax-haven, one that comes with the added value of social control. “According to 2013 financial documents, the organization only spends 27 percent of donations on actual ALS research.” Foundations capitalize on the corporate plantation's most valued system of social control, whitesupremacy. Whenever a crisis arises, the ruling class uses foundations to assemble white America’sattachment to white supremacy. The ALS Association took full advantage, raising over 100 milliondollars with the Ice Bucket Challenge in short time. Most White Americans did not know or care toresearch what or where donations were going. According to 2013 financial documents, theorganization only spends 27 percent of donations on actual ALS research. Over 50 percent goes to a small administrative body of six figure salaries, with the remaining funds to medical schools thatcollaborate with Big Pharma. These facts would likely arouse defensiveness from many White Americans. White America's existence as a social class is reliant on the rule of white supremacy. The ruling class created what is now a nearly four hundred year old system of White rule to maintain the oppression of Black and Indigenous America and the exploitation of the working class as a whole. White America’s privileges come straight from the theft of Black America and America’s non-white subjects. To absolve White America, the ruling class has worked tirelessly to foster White identification with the American corporate plantation. White Americans call this phenomena "love of one's country" or "patriotism." However, the masters of America’s corporate plantation are finding it harder and harder to cloak their crimes in the mythical idea of White benevolence. White America was desperate to find some form of comfort in the American way of life, making the ALS *** ociation’s Ice Bucket Challenge a wildly popular undertaking. White America was in need of instant comfort because the American corporate plantation is in crisis, exposing daily the paternalism and brutality of white supremacy. Israel's recent assault on Palestine and renewed talks of US military intervention in Syria and Iraq remind the entire planet that the dehumanization of non-white peoples is at the heart of the American way of life. Ferguson's rebellion further placed a spotlight on the militarized, racist occupation of Black America in the heart of the American corporate plantation. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge conveniently absolved White America from facing up to its support of so-called "humanitarian" imperialism and the thousands of dollars it donated to killer-cop Darren Wilson's defense fund. Foundations like the ALS Association give America's corporate plantation a "charitable" face-lift and a perfect outlet for White America to run to when it needs to reconcile its relationship with empire. “Billions of dollars in donations went straight into the pockets of charity executives.” Tax-exempt foundations also inspire White American unity for imperial action. When the 9-11 tragedy occurred, numerous foundations sprung from ruling class dollars to promote the newly declared "War on Terror's" racist and fear-mongering agenda. Foundations used the popular slogans of "support our troops" and "never forget" to raise money for 9-11 victims. Billions of dollars in donations went straight into the pockets of charity executives while the corporate plantation unleashed its war machine all over the planet, including on American civil liberties. Similarly, the One Fund promoted the meaningless slogan "Boston Strong" to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The bombing rallied White America once again around the erosion of domestic civil liberties in the name of "anti-terrorism." As for the money donated to the One Fund, one might question the executives of the John Hancock and Hill's Holiday corporation into this matter. After all, they are the foundation's sole creators. Foundations serve as both a money-maker for the capitalist class and an institution tasked with mustering White America's attachment and defense of the American corporate plantation. Such processes must exist together if the American corporate plantation is to live on another day. Without White America's loyalty, the corporate plantation would fall like a house of cards. White America's energy was channeled into the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to subtly regenerate its loyalty to empire. Despite the fraudulent practices of foundations and their greater structural purpose, many Americans will dismiss the Ice Bucket Challenge as a harmless endeavor. Organizers and liberation warriors must avoid this premise and formulate a challenge to the rule of the American corporate plantation. This includes telling the truth about "philanthropic" activities, no matter how popular they are. The mission of radical political forces is to show young people, workers, and the oppressed that power comes not from the bottom of a bucket of ice water but from a peoples movement against white supremacy and corporate imperialism. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.