The Biden administration gave $2 million to a George Soros-backed nonprofit to stop violent crime in Puerto Rico by teaching the island's young men about "structural racism and toxic masculinities."
President Joe Biden's Justice Department in October awarded the lucrative grant to Taller Salud, a "feminist, culturally specific nonprofit organization" in Puerto Rico. The money comes from the department's Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative, which aims to address crime through police alternatives. Taller Salud, which receives funding from liberal billionaire George Soros's Open Society Foundations, will use the $2 million to further implement its "community violence intervention program," which includes "public education campaigns" to address "structural racism and toxic masculinities" among Puerto Rican men between the ages of 15 and 30.
This is far from the first time the Biden administration has used taxpayer funds to push progressivism abroad. In May, the U.S. embassy in Brazil announced plans to bankroll English classes for transgender activists. In the Middle East, meanwhile, Biden's State Department initiated a multimillion-dollar effort to teach Iraqis about gender studies. The Biden administration has also funded podcasts in foreign nations intended to push listeners to the left, including one in India focused on climate change.
The Biden-backed program will specifically train a "minimum of 40 young males" annually on "violence interruption" and "conflict mediation," among other practices. The program places an emphasis on eradicating "structural racism" and street violence by hosting "cultural activities," including mural painting, according to Taller Salud's website.
The nonprofit has no shortage of fiscal supporters. In addition to Soros's Open Society Foundations, its site touts funding from Planned Parenthood and Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a group that invests in the "liberation" of "girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth of Color." Still, the Biden administration grant will pay the nonprofit handsomely for its toxic masculinity training. Should the program reach its minimum of 120 Puerto Rican men over three years, the training would cost nearly $17,000 per person. That figure is four times the average cost of a year of community college and $3,000 more than the per capita annual income in Puerto Rico.
The Justice Department did not return a request for comment.
The Open Society Foundations are a network of grant-making organizations that serves as the Soros family's chief philanthropic arm. Over the course of his life, Soros has dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into various progressive causes, notably a nationwide push to elect prosecutors who often fail to charge violent criminals, leading to repeat offenses.
While Taller Salud also employs "violence interrupters" and "street outreach workers" to achieve "crime reduction," the use of police alternatives has largely failed to reduce crime in the United States. Following George Floyd's death, for instance, the Minneapolis City Council moved to defund the city's police department. After a year of near-record crime, however, the council reversed the cuts.
Non-police interventions have also failed to deliver the services they promise. "B-HEARD," a mental-health-focused 911 alternative piloted in New York City, failed to respond to approximately three-quarters of all calls it received. A similar program in Seattle, meanwhile, is behind schedule and has yet to be implemented three years after its approval.
As of 2020, Puerto Rico had the 18th-highest homicide rate in the world, placing the territory above countries such as Iraq and Haiti.
While some conservative policy experts argue law enforcement is underfunded, Taller Salud appears to be flush with cash. The organization's CEO, Tania Rosario Méndez, pays herself nearly triple the median income in Puerto Rico, tax documents show. The nonprofit's CFO, Yamara Rodríguez, earns well over double the median income. Over 40 percent of Puerto Ricans live in poverty, according to the Census Bureau.
Taller Salud in at least some cases has attempted to address poverty in Puerto Rico, albeit through unusual tactics. The organization during fiscal years 2020 and 2021 spent about $685,000 to "promote a culture of peace, forgiveness, and community reconciliation," which it said would help end "poverty, inequality, and structural racism."