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Fearless Fund: Atlanta Judge Blocks Anti-Affirmative Action Bid To End Grant Program For Black Women

Third Annual Fearless VC Summit

Emma Grede and Arian Simone speak during the Fearless Fund Third Annual Fearless Venture Capital Summit at Atlanta Symphony Hall on August 18, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. | Source: Prince Williams / Getty

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down affirmative action, white conservatives and their sunken lackeys have been celebrating the decision like it was the end of Caucasian Jim Crow and using it to threaten any company that still practices AA or DEI policies. And it’s likely killing their little white nationalist spirits to know that there are still organizations out there that are continuing to prioritize the opportunities they provide for people of color and other marginalized groups, as opposed to more opportunities for white people in a country built on the American dream of opportunity exclusively for white people.

According to the Associated Press, a federal judge in Atlanta ruled Tuesday that a venture capital firm can continue offering a grant program exclusively to entrepreneurial Black women after the firm was sued by a salty white man and his anti-affirmative action organization. The judge argued the lawsuit wasn’t likely to succeed.

From AP:

Senior U.S. Judge Thomas Thrash denied a preliminary injunction that would have blocked the grants by the Atlanta-based Fearless Fund. The judge issued the decision in court after hearing arguments from attorneys and said he planned to issue a written order by the end of the week.

The Fearless Fund is a tiny player in the approximately $200 billion global venture capital market, but Tuesday’s ruling was a significant victory for the firm, which has become symbolic of the fight over corporate diversity policies. The lawsuit against it could be a test case, as the battle over considerations on race shifts to the workplace following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling ending affirmative action in college admissions.

The injunction was sought by the American Alliance for Equal Rights, a nonprofit founded by anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum, the man behind the admissions cases the Supreme Court ruled on in June.

Now, if you’re not familiar with Edward Blum, he’s essentially one of the OG poster children for white grievance profiteers and a fierce opponent to all things affirmative action.

Actually, strike that. Blum isn’t against “all things affirmative action.” Blum certainly has no qualms with representing white women in his anti-affirmative action lawsuits despite the practice having historically benefited white women the most.

In fact, Blum’s first notable client—the one who put him in the limelight—was Abigail Fisher, your average white person’s favorite average white person, who claimed she was denied entry to the University of Texas because she’s white, only to have it revealed that only 47 students who were admitted to UT the year she applied had lower grades than her and, out of those applicants, 42 were just as white as she is. It also turned out that 168 Black and Latino students with “combined AI/PAI scores identical to or higher than (Fisher’s)” were rejected as well. The fact that the woman dubbed “Becky with the bad grades” was a big ball of nothing but embarrassment for Blum, apparently, did not dissuade the card-carrying white-tears-ologist from making a name for himself by leading the litigation crusade against any organization that sought to help non-white people. 

But here’s the real kicker: the Fearless Fund is an organization founded by and largely run by two Black women, Arian Simone and Ayana Parsons. In other words, these are Black women doing for Black women. They’re Black people doing for their own community. White people, especially white conservatives, have been telling Black people for generations that we need to stop looking for handouts, stop blaming the white man for everything, and build up our own communities. Obvious racism and anti-Black stereotyping aside, the Fearless Fund is doing exactly that. The Fearless Fund’s initiative is a prime example of Black people building up our own communities, and white people, Plum and his organization, are responding: “No, wait—wait, not like that.”

Anyway, prior to the ruling, Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement sent to NewsOne that he “warned the day the Supreme Court gutted affirmative action that right-wing fundamentalists would set their sights on Corporate America, now that they had their way with higher education.”

“They did just that when they launched a lawsuit against the Fearless Fund for trying to level the playing field for Black women who just wanted a piece of the American Dream,” Sharpton continued. “These conservative activists would rather melt the brass ring down than give us even a chance to grab it. That’s why the National Action Network will mobilize in Atlanta this Tuesday to show those who wish to keep us down that we are standing up.”

Famed civil attorney Ben Crump put out a statement after Judge Thrash’s decision.

“We have maintained all along that this lawsuit has no merit,” Crump wrote. “Today, the Court moved to affirm that. Now, Fearless Fund can continue to empower female entrepreneurs of color and change countless lives for the better. We will continue to stand by these inspiring women even as organizations who are acting on hate attempt to tear them down.”


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