Dirty Money: Take It or Leave It? [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Not far from the dirty water of the River Charles, all sorts of dirty money has been donated to Harvard and Harvard’s Hasty Pudding theater troupe by billionaire and alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s secret charity, Gratitude America, Ltd.
Fact is, Epstein was listed as among the Hasty Pudding historic theater troupe’s top donors in 2018, under the "Guardians of the Sphinx” category. While the press continuously mentions Trump in every related story, what do you think the thespians should do with money tied up with an alleged pervert who is charged with sex trafficking with children as young as 13 years old?
Epstein’s shadowy foundation has also shelled out cash to a nonprofit linked to the wife of former Harvard President Larry Summers, past Treasury Secretary under President Clinton. Gratitude America Ltd. helped fund a nonprofit that produces a PBS TV show hosted by Elisa New, Poetry in America. What should Ms. New and PBS do with the dirty money now?
Harvard, so far, has kept $6.5 million from Epstein to fund the university’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics and other contributions he gave them. What should Harvard do? And what about the long list of nonprofit groups, from a cure for cancer research and Elton John’s AIDS foundation to delivering the Virgin Islands with its first Head Start program? Should everyone just turn in the money, and if so, where to?
You have no idea how many groups Epstein funded. From activists trying to curb ivory poaching to political poachers, do a simple search and you’ll be dazed. Should they return the dirty money?
With Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest on July 6, he faces federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking with young girls.
What would you do if Epstein gave your organization a contribution? Knowing what you know now, would you give back the contribution or pass it along to perhaps a group that deals with preventing sex trafficking? Or would you keep the loot from the Sphinx?
I’d give it to a nonprofit that deals with treating kids forced into the sex trade, in Epstein's dishonor.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.