As Billionaires Get Richer During the Pandemic, Here’s One Who Anonymously Gave Everything Away—All $8 Billion

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After 38 years of secret donations, a billionaire many times over has, at 89, given away all $8 billion to schools, charities, and foundations. Chuck Feeney of San Francisco has walked the walk after amassing his fortune as a co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers, following through on a pledge to empty his pockets for a clearer conscience. (His name became public only after the duty-free stores were sold and a lawsuit over the sale would’ve revealed his anonymous donations.)

As my colleague Mark Helenowski visualized in a must-watch video revealing the staggering wealth accumulated by a tiny few during the pandemic, this period of crisis has been a payout for billionaires. Almost 650 of them have grown their collective wealth by an estimated $685 billion since March. Watch his animated video and take stock in—uh, take into account (uh, take into consideration)—the fact that while many superwealthy get superwealthier, at least one has taken steps to change course.

I can hear your begrudging applause. I too am inclined not to applaud too loudly because Recharge’s coffers have not been lined with Feeney’s billions. If any billionaires get in touch at recharge@motherjones.com, I’d be amenable to putting you in contact with my colleagues in our giving department.

Goodness in the world:

Double win. Actors Ron and Jasmine Cephas Jones have become the first father-daughter pair to win Emmys at the same time. Well done.

Marching on. This Saturday is the fourth annual March for Black Women, held virtually to keep marchers socially distanced. Speakers include Rep. Ilhan Omar, Gina Belafonte (daughter of Harry Belafonte), and Opal Tometi, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter.

Soaring. Teenage trumpeters Maglyn Bertrand and Tatjana Lightbourn are the new Louis Armstrong House Museum fellows and they’re planning virtual tours and blogs to highlight Armstrong’s home and legacy.

Screening. The LA Asian Pacific Film Festival is showing Francis Wong: Chinatown Revolutionary, a look at the pioneering San Francisco–based saxophonist and activist who co-founded Asian Improv aRTS with Jon Jang—who, together, merge their depth of music with historical narratives and a commitment to justice. Catch my interview with Jang.

If you have a Recharge story or just want a direct word of recognition, let us know at recharge@motherjones.com.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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