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Trump Appointed Judges Block Fearless Fund From Offering Capital To Black Woman Entrepreneurs

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

For the second time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has temporarily blocked an Atlanta-based venture capital firm founded and run by Black women from offering grants reserved for businesses owned by Black women because a group of non-Black people felt they were being discriminated against by Black people literally minding their own business.

As we previously reported, the Fearless Fund — a venture capital firm owned and operated by Arian Simone and Ayana Parsons — was sued last August by Edward Blum, the white grievance peddler who calls himself an activist and once represented Abigail Fisher, the white woman who thought affirmative action was why she wasn’t accepted into the college of her choice when, in truth, her academic performance simply wasn’t good enough.

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Then, in October, the court reversed a lower court’s ruling that the fund can continue while litigation is pending, and now, the same Donald Trump-appointed federal judges have landed on the exact same ruling after they out-voted the judge appointed by Barack Obama once again now that a new set of plaintiffsthree non-Black female entrepreneurs identified in the court filing as “Owner A,” “Owner B” and “Owner C”are suing the fund for discrimination.

From the Washington Post:

The appeals panel ruled 2-1 that allowing the $20,000 awards to be issued under the fund’s Fearless Strivers Grant Contest would be “substantially likely” to violate a federal statute that prohibits racial discrimination in contracts. The panel also ruled that the plaintiffs, who were not identified by name in their legal complaint, had standing to proceed with their case.

The judges in the majority, Kevin Newsom and Robert Luck, were appointed by President Donald Trump. The dissenting judge, Robin Rosenbaum, was appointed by President Barack Obama.

“The American Alliance for Equal Rights is grateful that the court has ruled that the Fearless Fund’s racially exclusive grant competition is illegal,” Blum said in an emailed statement. “Our nation’s civil rights laws do not permit racial distinctions because some groups are overrepresented in various endeavors, while others are underrepresented.”

Again, the guy whose claim to fame came after he represented the white woman who thought she didn’t get into her college of choice because her meritocracy card got declined when, in truth, she was just a mediocre white woman who didn’t meet the qualifications regardless of her race is now doing a victory dance because Black women running a private entity wanted to help Black women.

Blum and his ilk will ignore American history so they can omit the glaring fact that white supremacy is the only reason “some groups are overrepresented in various endeavors, while others are underrepresented.” (He’s obviously too much of a coward to even say “white people” so he goes with “some groups.”) But truthfully, for the vast majority of America’s existence, Black people and people of color were excluded from a multitude of businesses, educational institutions and funds run by white people exclusively for white people. That’s how we got here in the first place and now white people are blocking Black people by using their own money to do the same for other Black people.

Here’s what I wrote about the bid to block the Fearless Fund’s mission previously:

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.”

“This is the first court decision in the 150+ year history of the post-Civil War civil rights law that has halted private charitable support for any racial or ethnic group,” Jason Schwartz, a lawyer with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which is representing Fearless Fund, told the Post via email. “The dissenting judge, the district court and other courts have agreed with us that these types of claims should not prevail.”

What Blum, the anonymous plaintiffs and the Trump-appointed judges are doing is essentially the civil court version of Karens calling the police on Black people who are just minding their own business. And the Fearless Fund isn’t the only casualty of this kind of litigation.

Last year, we reported that multiple conservative organizations filed lawsuits against the Abundant Life Project, a program launched in San Francisco designed to combat the “obstetric racism” researchers found has caused a disproportionate number of Black women to die from childbirth by providing pregnant Black and Pacific Islanders in the state a $1,000 monthly stipend. These groups ignored volumes upon volumes of research done that indicates systemic medical racism in American healthcare, conclusive research that shows the disparities in quality medical care Black women receive in comparison to their white counterparts, and the research that shows pregnant Black women routinely receive a lesser quality of maternity careall so they can prioritize whiteness over the protection of Black women and call it fairness.

These are not government entities using American tax dollars to fund programs meant to serve the underservedthese are private entities raising private money to help the people who need help the most. The Fearless Fund doesn’t take food out of the mouths of white entrepreneurs. If it didn’t exist, white business owners would still be in the exact same (privileged) position they’re in now, but Black women and women of color who run businesses would have one less resource at their disposal.

Make no mistake, these lawsuits aren’t about discrimination against white people, they’re about keeping Black people in their place. As I’ve written before, “White conservatives only have one real agenda when it comes to dealing with race relations in America: ignoring or denying the existence of racial disparities while attacking any effort to correct them.”


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