Independent presidential candidate Cornel West said Friday he returned a controversial donation from Harlan Crow — the billionaire with controversial links to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
“How sad that perceptions so quickly triumph over truth in our decadent culture,” West said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “This holds in our major catastrophe in the Middle East where the rich humanity of Palestinians is rendered invisible. It also holds at home in the minor scandal about Harlan Crow’s donation to my campaign.”
“He is a staunch anti-Trump Republican who has ‘Never Forget’ collections of tyrants (Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and many others) and patriotic collections of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln,” West continued. “Does this disqualify him from contributing to my campaign? Most people holler yes, I say no.”
Still, he said, he decided to return the money.
The news comes after West received a $3,300 donation from the Republican megadonor in August, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The funds came in just weeks before West switched from the Green Party to an independent bid.
West defended his acceptance of the contribution, despite criticism.
“As an independent candidate and a free Black man, I accept donations within the limits of no PACs or corporate interest groups that have strings attached,” West said in a post on X Thursday. “I am unbought and unbossed.”
“Despite my deep political differences with brother Harlan Crow (who is an anti-Trump Republican), I’ve known him in a non-political setting for some years and I pray for his precious family,” Crow’s Thursday post continued. “I find it hypocritical for those who highlight his $3300 donation to my campaign but can’t say a mumbling word about the PAC-driven billion dollars to support the genocidal attack in Gaza sponsored by their candidate!”
Crow also donated to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2024 campaign.
The billionaire has been in the spotlight most recently for providing flights and gifts to Thomas, which were undisclosed until a ProPublica report made it public. Crow also paid for the a house in Georgia for the justice’s mother.