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SVB branch in Menlo Park

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

For people who claim to be fierce crusaders against “fake news” and the dishonest mainstream media, conservatives sure do fall for every piece of yellow journalism they come across so long as they get it from right-wing “news” sites and it purports to validate what they already believed.

Recently, conservatives have been stretching themselves into white nationalist knots trying to find ways to link the Silicon Valley Bank collapse to the Banks efforts to promote progressive ideas like diversity, equity, inclusion and other things that give barely-closeted bigots the heebeejeebees.

And because conservatives will never come to glory on the fact that Fox News is a news organization like Dr. Dre is a medical professional, they got ahold of more right-wing misinformation, and now they think SBV collapsed because it donated millions to Black Lives Matter—which, of course, it didn’t.

It took no time at all for the so-called party of “facts over feelings” to get all in their feelings over a non-fact.

Here’s Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggesting that SVB failed because it put “BLM activism” over “risk management,” because even an elected legislator apparently doesn’t need to do actual fact-finding research before taking a hard stance on something.

But Cruz certainly isn’t the only gullible rube who likes his news fake and his outrage manufactured.

In case anyone is interested, here are the actual facts via Popular Info:

Tuesday night on Fox News, host Jesse Watters asserted that Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) “donated $74 million to Black Lives Matter.” That was why, Watters claimed, federal regulators did not pursue more aggressive oversight of SVB’s business practices. According to this theory, SVB was treated with kid gloves because it was “woke.” 

Watters’ claim is false. The actual amount that SVB donated to Black Lives Matter was zero. But that didn’t stop similar claims from being made repeatedly on Fox News, conservative websites, and social media. 

“Silicon Valley Bank, brace yourself, spent more than $73 million on donations to BLM and related organizations,” Tucker Carlson declared on Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, Fox & Friends’ Ainsley Earhardt claimed that SVB donated “more than $73 million to Black Lives Matter.” There were many more examples on Fox News.

Each claim is phrased slightly differently but they are all false. 

The reports are based on a database produced by the right-wing Claremont Institute. The database tracks pledges to groups that are associated with Black Lives Matter, including the BLM Global Network Foundation, The Movement for Black Lives, the BLM Foundation, the BLM PAC, BLM At School, independent local BLM chapters, and fiscal sponsors of BLM groups, including the Tides Foundation and Common Counsel Foundation. According to the database, the total amount that SVB gave to all of these groups is zero. 

So where does the $73 million figure come from? The database also includes “organizations and initiatives that advance one or more aspects of BLM’s agenda.” The “agenda” of BLM is not defined. Most consider BLM a movement to end unjustified violence against Black people by law enforcement and other acts of racial injustice. But an article by the Claremont Institute that was published in Newsweek, explaining the purpose of the database, says the goal of BLM is to “undermine capitalism, the nation state, and Western civilization.” 

But an examination of the underlying data reveals the money from SVB went to organizations and initiatives that have little to do with BLM. 

For example, in 2021, SVB pledged to spend $50 million over five years on an internal initiative called Access to Innovation, which Popular Info described as a program that “sought to connect women, Black people, and Latinos with startup funding, networking, and leadership development in the venture capitalist ecosystem”—or as the fine folks at Claremont and Fox News call it, Black Lives Matter.

More from Popular Info:

The other major contribution by SVB that the Claremont Institute says was BLM-related was a $20 million donation “to support additional COVID-19 relief” and establish a “full-ride, needs-based University Scholarship program to students at Arizona State University, Florida A&M University, Tulane University, and Xavier University.” (The $20 million represented the fees SVB collected for processing loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.) It is unclear what COVID-19 relief and college scholarships have to do with BLM. 

The Claremont Institute database also says that SVB spent another $1.2 million on the Access to Innovation program and $1.6 million on “causes supporting gender parity in innovation” in 2020. According to the sources cited by the Claremont Institute, these expenditures actually occurred in 2019. They also have no apparent connection to the BLM movement. 

In other words, SVB dedicated funds to a wide array of organizations and initiatives that had zero things to do with BLM, but because some of those things involved people of color, conservative “researchers” and “journalists” didn’t bother making any distinction. If issues concerning Black people or POC (or anything non-conservative, really) are even remotely adjacent to programs SVB gave money to then, by default, the bank donated to BLM. Not that there’s any evidence to indicate that even if they did donate to BLM it would have literally anything to do with the Bank’s downfall.

I mean—just here me out, now—maybe these people are just racist. 

But Cruz certainly isn’t the only gullible rube who likes his news fake and his outrage manufactured. See how Twitter’s reacting below.