A project of the Tides Center, the Institute for Global Communications (IGC) provides Web-hosting services for individuals, small businesses, and more than 250 leftist organizations whose activism falls under the headings of feminism, anti-racism, environmentalism, or peace. Rejecting “the notion that only for-profit companies can provide the services needed by the progressive community,” the nonprofit IGC professes a commitment to “serve the community and not stock holders.” In partnership with eGrants, IGC also offers secure online credit-card transaction services for nonprofits. The Chairman of ICG’s Advisory Board is Mark Graham, who serves as Vice President of Technology for iVillage.com, a website geared toward women’s interests.
The IGC website provides four main portals through which browsers may enter its database:
(a) WomensNet is “an online community of individuals and organizations who use computer technology to advance the interests of women worldwide.” Founded on the premise that America is nation rife with sexism, this portion of the website addresses such issues as domestic violence, women’s civil rights and liberties, pay equity, discrimination in the workplace, and media portrayals of women.
(b) AntiRacismNet describes itself as a portal that “contextualizes present-day racism, [and] promotes and highlights antiracist organizations and actions.” A recurrent theme of its articles is that racism in America remains as pervasive and intractable as ever. As one January 2004 piece stated: “The causes of disproportionate imprisonment [of blacks and whites] are complex. Root causes of disproportionate crime rates for certain offenses include poverty, inadequate education, and economic disadvantage. Also … research demonstrates that African Americans are treated more harshly than their similarly-situated white counterparts at each stage of the criminal justice process.”
In December 2005, AntiRacismNet posted a letter drafted by the National Council of La Raza expressing “extreme disappointment with the White House’s strong support of the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005,” a bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner which was eventually passed by the House of Representatives but not by the Senate. This bill sought to authorize the construction of up to 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border to stem the flow of illegal immigration; to end the practice of local law-enforcement officials releasing illegal immigrants they have apprehended; to mandate that employers verify their workers’ legal status; to end grants to government agencies that practice a sanctuary policy for illegal aliens; to allow the deportation of any undocumented alien convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol; and to make it a crime to “assist” an illegal alien in his or her efforts to remain in, or to re-enter, the United States. In ICG’s view, all these provisions were motivated by racism.
(c) EcoNet serves as a mouthpiece for the radical environmentalist movement, featuring links to articles about the threats posed by global warming, pollution, and deforestation. Axiomatic to numerous articles in this section is the contention that the U.S. does too little to protect the environment, and that capitalism is the principal root cause of ecological degradation. EcoNet also champions the rights of “indigenous peoples” worldwide, depicting them as victims of capitalist nations’ inherent impulse to exploit and abuse the underdeveloped regions of the world.
(d) The Peacenet portal is largely devoted to condemning America’s alleged military “aggression” worldwide. Exemplary of this was Peacenet‘s March 1, 2004 feature piece, the transcript of a recent Nelson Mandela speech opposing American and British preparations for war in Iraq. “It’s a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing,” said Mandela. “All Bush wants is Iraqi oil. … Why are they not seeking to confiscate weapons of mass destruction from their ally Israel? This is just an excuse to get Iraq’s oil. … Bush [and Blair are] now undermining the United Nations. … Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations [Kofi Annan] is now a black man? They never did that when secretary-generals were white. … If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings. Fifty-seven years ago, when Japan was retreating on all fronts, they decided to drop the atom bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; killed a lot of innocent people, who are still suffering the effects of those bombs. … Because they are so arrogant, they decided to kill innocent people in Japan, who are still suffering from that. Who are they, now, to pretend that they are the policemen of the world?”