WaPo Explores the Guilt of the Millionaire Liberal -- or Marxist?

On Friday, The Washington Post explored the guilt of the millionaire liberal in a story on the front of the Metro section headlined: "Grappling with a wealth of guilt: Young heirs seek moral balance between inherited windfalls, social responsibilities."

But one subject in Ian Shapira’s story of "moral balance" is working for the Marxists in El Salvador. The caption under his photo read: "Burke Stansbury, who inherited $1 million in stock, works at the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador in the District."

Shapira never explains that CISPES was founded in 1980 to support the Marxist guerrillas of the FMLN, or even that this death-squad-turned-political-party now holds the presidency of that democracy. It’s merely a group "devoted to labor issues," reported the Post:

"Those of us with wealth and progressive values resist the privilege and actually deny it because of this inequality that exists in society," said Stansbury, who has spent his time since college working for a nonprofit organization devoted to labor issues in Latin America.

Shapira writes that these rich leftists are merely idealists: "They are young people who have inherited or stand to inherit big money, and they are spending their post-college years living modestly and working to address the needs of the poor, hungry and politically disadvantaged."

The young lefties have a group called the Resource Generation, who "devote themselves to philanthropic work for social justice, to talk about their guilt and their views on social inequalities without fear of eye-rolling from people who might view them as spoiled rich kids playing at helping the downtrodden."

Stansbury’s Marxist work is routinely downplayed with buzzwords. He was radicalized in Mexico, he explained:

"I saw deforestation. I saw more problems in the world than I saw in my private school. I saw an uprising in Chiapas of indigenous people -- corn farmers -- against trade policies, and I discovered solidarity activism."

When he returned, he transferred to the University of Montana. After graduating, he began working on behalf of Salvadorans. He was making $25,000 a year at the Solidarity Committee and now works there part time.

In the very last paragraph of the story, Shapira mentions the Marx books in the surroundings:

"I'd like to have my kids be exposed to more diversity, something less sheltered than where I went to school," said Stansbury, sitting in his living room and surrounded by books on subjects such as Karl Marx and the farm crisis in Mexico. "It depends on where we live."

The current mission statement for CISPES is fundamentally anti-capitalist and anti-American, stating that "capitalism is a fundamentally unjust, oppressive and ecologically unsustainable economic system. We join with poor and working people, immigrants and refugees in the struggle against neoliberalism-- the current manifestation of capitalism imposed by the United States government and its state, institutional and corporate allies."

Washington Post Ian Shapira
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