A defeat for racial equality happened when a federal judge said that an investment fund can give business grants to people of different races. An equal rights group had called for the Georgia fund to be shut down because they said the choice would “obliterate nondiscrimination law.”
It is against the law in the US to treat people differently because of their race, and this has been the case for a long time. The 1866 Civil Rights Act, which was passed after the Civil War, was the first law to protect people of color from racial prejudice. Since then, many more laws have been passed that make the protections it gives even stronger and broader. There are still people who try to segregate, though, and sadly this is still going on today.
To start the Fearless Fund in 2019, Arian Simone, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Ayana Parsons got together. It has the support of big banks like Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Mastercard. It has given almost $27 million to new businesses in the Atlanta area so far. Everything about that sounds good, but there’s a catch: it uses racism to pick which businesses to invest in. The fund is very clear that it only puts money into businesses run by women of color. It doesn’t even try to hide this. Black women are the only ones who can enter the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest that it runs.
E. Blum, a conservative campaigner who leads the American Alliance for Equal Rights, says this is racist. At the beginning of August, Blum sued Fearless Fund, saying that the grant contest unfairly favors white and Asian candidates. Blum has a history of fighting against things that some people call “affirmative action” and others call racism. In June, the US Supreme Court sided with a group he started that was against “race-conscious” admissions policies at major colleges by a vote of 6-3. The justices said it’s against the law for colleges to treat white and Asian applicants differently.
Blum is in trouble because US District Judge Thomas Thrash doesn’t agree with the Supreme Court. The judge said on September 26 that the grant program was protected First Amendment free speech. This was true even though Blum’s complaint wasn’t about what Fearless Fund was saying, but about how they picked who to give money to. Simone and Parsons, the founders, were happy with the decision and said they would “remain fearless and steadfast” in their goal to support “women of color entrepreneurs.”
However, Blum is not willing to give up quickly. He has already sent an emergency appeal to the fund to stop them from choosing a grant winner for this year. He has already taken one case of anti-white discrimination to the Supreme Court and won. This is likely to be the second.