Popular Information reports:
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.
Talking Points Memo reports:
The claims come from a database posted earlier this week by the Center for the American Way of Life, a project of the Claremont Institute. As Claremont put it in a Newsweek article introducing the database, “Americans deserve to know who funded the BLM riots.”
The database allows you to look up various corporations and see what they’ve donated to “BLM.” It lists SVB pledging $73,450,000 and says they followed through on the commitment. The database provides links to nine SVB documents as sources for this claim. They’re a mix of corporate responsibility type publications and corporate filings.
There are various discussions of support for inclusivity and DEI efforts, which the database authors likely believe are synonymous with “BLM.” But I scanned through each one of them and found no reference to anything remotely backing up the claim.
The Talking Points Memo piece is quite the deep dive and very worth your time.
Great piece from @JuddLegum et al comprehensively debunking a “woke bank” statistic that was everywhere in the right-wing press the last few days https://t.co/4o8PL0uRAz
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) March 16, 2023
A Quick Look at the Lying Trumpist Liars Behind that Database on Corporate Giving to “BLM” https://t.co/nby16cg3j5 via @TPM
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 16, 2023
Because of course it did!
SVB Donated $73M to BLM Scam – Related to Crash? https://t.co/gJTUt8tQPL
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 15, 2023