Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for Georgia governor, co-chaired an organization that gave tens of thousands of dollars to activists who want to defund and eliminate the police. This racial justice organization is financed by an executive of Alibaba, a Chinese firm that reportedly helped create surveillance technology used against Uyghur Muslims.
Abrams was first announced co-chair of the Black Voices for Black Justice Fund (BVBJ) in April 2021. She had also stated in a press release at the time that she was “excited” and “honored” to be a part of the organization because it “puts Black leaders in the driver’s seat – with Black activists on the ground who understand how racism plays out in their community defining both the problem and the solutions.”
According to a report from the organization, it has given $20,000 prizes to hundreds of Black activists throughout the country to “spend in any method they believe will do the best furthering racial justice in their communities at this important time.” One of these prize winners was Sharhonda Bossier, CEO of Education Leaders of Color, who advocated for police defunding during the Floyd protests in May 2021.
The Black Voices for Black Justice Fund, which describes itself as a “pooled philanthropic fund”, has 18 partners, including the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, a private grant-making foundation. The 17 other organizations, including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Delaware Community Foundation & Rodel Foundation, Kenan Charitable Trust, Red Crane Foundation, and The Moriah Fund.
Joe Tsai of the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, based in La Jolla, California, is a billionaire Canadian citizen. He also co-founded and currently serves as executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, one of China’s largest technology firms that actively works to advance the interests of Chinese communism.
In addition, an extensive report on Tsai in April found that Alibaba is “effectively state-controlled” by the Chinese government. ESPN also reported that Alibaba funds several Chinese artificial intelligence companies blacklisted by the U.S. for human rights abuses.
A 2019 article in Education About Asia described Alibaba as a “national champion” of the Chinese government because it advances state interests while benefiting from state policies. The article said, “While not state-owned, Alibaba still finds itself like other private Chinese tech companies deeply involved with the government as one of its national champions.” the article said.
According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Alibaba partnered with the Xinjiang government in 2014 to provide cloud computing technologies to apply in areas of policing and counterterrorism. Tsai has not spoken publicly about China’s treatment of Uyghurs. In 2018, he told the Milken Institute that it was “important” for China to limit the freedoms of its people to achieve and retain “absolute stability in the country.”
Stacey Abrams co-chaired a racial justice organization that’s financed by an executive of Alibaba, a Chinese firm that helped create surveillance technology used against Uyghur Muslims.
One would think that a black person would be against slavery! https://t.co/oitG2Fj7kH
— Jesus is the answer – (@777redeemed) August 18, 2022
When asked during a discussion at the University of California San Diego to weigh in on the crackdowns on academic freedoms in China. Tsai said, “It is what it is.”
Her campaign crew refused to comment when asked whether Abrams has had any communication with the current co-chairs or played a role in the selection process of the organization’s awardees. The campaign also did not say whether Abrams disowned the group for giving thousands to defund the police activists.
The democrats’ campaign also did not respond to inquiries about whether she was aware of Tsai’s connection to human rights abuses in China or if she will reject BVBJ’s partnership with his foundation.