The presidential election has shown us unsettling realities in America and even in our home state. As students [we] need to be more vigilant in resisting the xenophobic, racist, and homophobic rhetoric that has been pushed this election. Through all of it, many across the nation are taking a stand. If we in Oregon are going to take a stand against bigotry, we need to start by tackling it here in our own communities and at our own school. Right here in the Pacific Northwest, the Murdock Charitable Trust has been funding organizations that are anti-LGBTQ, anti-environment and anti-worker.
The Murdock Charitable Trust is based in Vancouver, Washington, right across the river from Portland.
Among them is the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ organization that pushes discriminatory laws all across the United States. They are known for creating the notorious North Carolina “Bathroom Bill” that barred transgender people from using bathrooms that match with their gender identity. One of the co-founders of ADF once questioned if AIDS is one way God punishes the LGTBQ community. ADF was also instrumental in advising current Vice-President Mike Pence when he was the Indiana governor on their anti-LGBTQ legislation.
In addition to anti-LGBTQ organizations, the Murdock Trust also funds the Freedom Foundation, an anti-worker organization based in Washington that is backed by networks tied to the Koch brothers. The Freedom Foundation has opposed minimum wage increases, paid sick leave and increased funding for education. They are also actively working to undermine the ability of workers to have a voice in the workplace. Their staff have argued against the Supreme Court case that legalized marriage equality.
Why is this relevant to us as students at PSU? The people that Murdock grantees try to undermine are fellow students, alumni, the workers who make our school better and our teachers.
As students we need to make a stand against the type of hateful organizations that Murdock funds.
Associated Students of PSU Equal Rights Advocacy Director