A number of wealthy public organizations and nonprofits were identified as investors in a hedge fund run by the billionaire funding both Donald Trump and Breitbart, according to ThinkProgress.
Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News published a damning email leak showing Breitbart chief Steve Bannon and former editor Milo Yiannopoulos soliciting writing from prominent neo-Nazis, cleaning up some of the horrific racist language in the articles, and then publishing them on the site.
The emails show Yiannopoulous routinely sent his work to white nationalist editor Devin Saucier for feedback and talked about the importance to not be labeled a racist while espousing racist ideas.
The financiers behind Breitbart’s sanitized white nationalism factory are its co-owners, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. Like Bannon, they use the guise of news to push their own racist views. In fact, it was the Mercers, who had previously funded Ted Cruz’s campaign, that convinced President Donald Trump to hire Bannon as campaign chief while sinking millions into getting him elected.
Mercer has his own complicated history with racism, according to a lawsuit filed by a former employee of Mercer’s company Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund that uses computer algorithms to determine investments.
The former employee, David Magerman, accused Mercer of having bigoted views and claimed the company excluded black employees from higher positions.
But Mercer’s ties to white nationalism has not affected his bottom line.
According to Forbes, the company manages $45 billion in assets, which is up from $27 billion in the beginning of last year.
Many organizations pay the company to access their fund, but their identities have mostly remained secret. ThinkProgress identified ten nonprofits and public organizations that invest in Renaissance, essentially helping the company’s owner sink more and more money into fueling white nationalism in America.
According to ThinkProgess, The Public Schools Employee Retirement System of Missouri has $877 million being managed by the company. Asked about the ties to white nationalism, Executive Director Steve Yoakum told the site “those are things that don’t interest us.”
Columbia University uses Renaissance as well, though it’s unclear how much money they’ve invested. According to a Wall Street Journal article from February, the university is getting good returns from “drug-royalty streams, litigation-finance funds and quantitative hedge funds, such as Renaissance Technologies and the D.E. Shaw Group.”
Michigan State University also moved about $50 million to Renaissance last year.
The Employee Retirement System of the City of Providence has over $33 million invested in Renaissance.
Los Angeles Water & Power Employees Retirement Plan includes Renaissance’s Institutional Equities Fund in their $12 billion portfolio.
The National Academy of Sciences reported they had invested $31 million in the company’s Institutional Equities Fund and another $23.4 million in Renaissance’s Institutional Diversified Alpha Fund.
The Baltimore Fire and Police Employees’ Retirement System has $25 million invested in Renaissance.
The William Penn Foundation invested over $2.3 million in Renaissance.
The American Physical Society invested nearly $10 million into a Renaissance fund.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has over $120 million in Renaissance’s Institutional Equities Fund.