Danegeld, then and now
Then (per Wikipedia):
The Danegeld was an English tax raised to pay off Viking raiders (usually lead by the Danish king) to save the land from being ravaged by the raiders...
the amount of silver paid impressed the Danes with the idea that it was more profitable to extort payments from the English than to take whatever booty they could plunder.
Corporate benefactors lined up on the dais of the Miami Beach Convention Center last week as the NAACP's national convention wound down, toting their generosity in the form of huge checks made out to the civil rights group.
One by one, corporate spokesmen from Wal-Mart, Shell Oil, General Motors and American Airlines announced donations ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 to the tax-exempt group, whose stated goal is "to advocate civil rights of minority groups in the U.S.A."
Then the Wachovia banking corporation produced a $1 million contribution to the NAACP's education initiatives, prompting an audible gasp and a standing ovation from the audience...
NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, in his keynote speech for this year's convention, said Republicans appeal "to the dark underside of American culture, to that minority of Americans who reject democracy and equality."