Venture Capital Fund Banned from Helping Black Women.

Fearless Fund is a venture capital firm that makes small grants of $20,000 exclusively to Black women entrepreneurs of small business.  In 2022, Black women received less than 1% of the $288 billion that venture capital firms handed out to business.  Much like the marijuana licenses in AZ, meant to be for those who suffered when marijuana was illegal, the lucrative largesse ends up in white male hands.

The fund requires the business to be 51% black woman owned so it is not exclusive to Black women.   Alliance sued under §42 U.S.C. 1981 that prohibits race discrimination in making contracts.  Fearless argued it was a remedial program to make up a tiny bit for past discrimination. A remedial program is an exception if it is to correct racial imbalance and does not trammel the rights of others or create an absolute bar.  The court found it created an absolute bar though whites could own 49% of the business and only had to collaborate with Black women.  That was a bridge too far for the Trump appointees.  The 11th federal circuit court panel in Atlanta found the grant program unconstitutional.  

For Edward Blum, founder of the American Alliance for Equal Rights, 99% is not enough.  Blum is the same guy who financed Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Shelby v. Holder, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard (and University of North Carolina) attacking affirmative action and voting.

Two Trump appointees on the Georgia court said the Fearless Fund did not deserve speech protection.  One judge appointed by Obama dissented.  He said American Alliance only pretended to be hurt by Fearless Fund actions and shouldn’t have standing (the right to bring suit). This panel decision overturned an earlier ruling that allowed the program to continue while the case worked its way through the courts.  

As in the Dobbs case, 150 years of precedent was ignored to come to this result which will be appealed to a full panel.  Fearless argued they had a right to express their belief that it was important to support Black women in the economy through charity.  You know, how Hobby Lobby thought it was important to express their belief by denying women contraceptive coverage.  But for Fearless Fund, they were told no, that didn’t apply to race.  

However it did apply to discrimination against women when Hobby Lobby, a corporation, decided it had freedom of speech/conduct based on their belief that women should not have contraception. But, as the Supreme Court (sic) said in Dobbs, women have no protection under the Constitution as they are not mentioned in it. This is why it is so important to recognize that the ERA is the validly ratified 28th amendment as of January 22, 2022.

Blum argued that just because some groups are over- or under-represented does not give the right to have racial distinctions.  For 400 years, denying services to Black people was legal. The over- and under-representation is precisely because of these racial distinctions. But now, when we try to balance the scale, we are told we can’t use those very same distinctions for remedial measures.  

The decision issued June 3 found that Alliance had standing because they would be irreparably damaged.  By not receiving a $20,000 grant?  That strains all credulity.  But the panel entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting the fund from operation.

The lower court rightfully found that the Alliance showed it had suffered no harm. However, the appeals court found that since the members of the Alliance were able and ready to submit applications for the $20,000, they had an injury although they didn’t need the money and have many more avenues of funding than Black women do.

Basically this is meant to destroy the 14th Amendment and claim that it was not passed to protect Black people but to ensure fairness to all people. That completely obliterates 200 years of slavery and four years of war.  The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were most certainly passed for those who had been enslaved.  White people did not need an amendment to say they possessed equal rights, due process, freedom from slavery, or the right to vote. But like the Supreme Court (sic) did, the judges turned history on its head to justify their political agenda. 

Fearless should have said it is their religious belief.  The decision mentioned the 303 Creative case citing a religious belief that they can limit their behavior based on the message conveyed. The court went on a hypocritical rant about how race discrimination is so demeaning and harmful. Apparently, the act of race discrimination by giving Black women a boost is demeaning but the structure of racism that ensures that Black women need that boost, passes scrutiny.  This is precisely why they don’t want people to know about critical race theory that explains how racism permeates every sector of society and is institutionalized, as this case shows, and not just about individual acts by bigoted people. The court says the public interest is served by denying this program which then must mean the interest of Black women is not a public interest that needs to concern us just as the court said in the Dred Scott decision.

The dissent focuses on “flopping” or faking an injury by Alliance. That judge would dismiss the case on lack of standing.  I recall some years back when the NAACP and Asian Pacific Islander group challenged the state law about prohibiting abortions for race-based reasons, the 9th circuit found that “stigma” was not an injury to give standing. Here the panel went out of its way to say that simply claiming “I might apply for a grant” is an injury. Pretty thin thread to hang a great principle from.

It’s very clear from this decision that different rules apply depending on who is seeking relief, as if we didn’t already know that. That is not how a court or the Rule of Law is supposed to work. But our Supreme Court (sic) is utterly degraded, and the Trump appointees have no loyalty to the Rule of Law but only to Trump ideology.

Racism is alive and well in the U.S.  Slavery is still impacting every sector of society. Both Trump judges voted against Black women – judges’ matter. Remember that when you go to the polls in November and vote out Clint Bolick and Kathryn King who supported maintaining the 1864 abortion ban.

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