British man makes amends with inheritance from racist stepfather

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

Anthony Perry calls his late stepfather, Michael Young, "a pretty dreadful man."

When Young died in 2000, he left Perry a significant inheritance. Perry gave most of it to his daughter, bought himself a nice suit, and decided to "have some fun" with the remaining £10,000 ($15,842 CAD), the Guardian reports.

Perry created the Michael Young Fund with the money, and for more than a decade now, he has been dolling out cash to people and organizations he considers having done something worthwhile.

It's something Young would not approve of:

"He was not a good man — quite the opposite. He was strongly anti-Semitic, had a deep-rooted distaste for coloured people, who he feared would pollute the white races, propagated a mean-spirited and unforgiving interpretation of Christianity," Perry writes of Young. "It is hard to find any redeeming feature in the man. So it seemed a nice idea to pass the money he left to some of the individuals and the small organizations that try to do some good in the world, and, where possible, to ones he would have disapproved of."

Josh Kutchinsky explains the fund on The Lunchtime Observers, the blog he shares with Perry:

"His brainchild the Michael Young Fund spreads goodwill in a sort of scatter gun approach. He spots someone doing something which excites, amuses, elicits empathy or sympathy, seems bolshi or vaguely (or not so vaguely) is doing a good job at getting up the noses of those who 'need to have it up them' and he fires."

Perry gives money of varying amounts to unsung heroes and those in need of a helping hand: the handyman who helps the elderly with repairs; the doctor who accepts patients other doctors turn away; a very young new mom in need of baby supplies and some cheering up.

Perry has given smaller sums to thank art critics, cartoonists and radio commentators for their contributions.

"I get great pleasure in doing these things," Perry tells the Guardian, "because people are so pleased."

Every cash gift is accompanied by a leaflet explaining the fund and a letter on why the gift is being given.

Perry and his wife, artist Evelyn Williams, keep replenishing the fund. Others have "have chipped in small amounts," he says.

As Kutchinsky puts it, "What an excellent and classy way to take revenge on a nasty old man."