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.
That’s the agenda and strategy that fuels the wars against critical race theory, “wokeness,” DEI, predominately Black voting districts and the teaching of non-whitewashed Black History. And it’s certainly what killed affirmative action.
For example, many of us know there has been tons of research done that indicates systemic medical racism in American healthcare. We know, specifically, the conclusive research done that shows the disparities in quality medical care Black women receive in comparison to their white counterparts. Even more specifically, we’re aware of the research that shows pregnant Black women routinely receive a lesser quality of maternity care.
All of these findings have been well-publicized and reported, which makes it likely that white conservatives are also aware of them. Yet, multiple conservative organizations are filing 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.
“In the United States, racial disparities in birth outcomes continue to persist with income inequality being one of the key contributors,” the ABP’s website states. “Structural interventions that reduce the racial-wealth gap are urgently needed and have the promise to narrow longstanding inequities. In a community-academic partnership, Expecting Justice piloted the first pregnancy income supplement program in the US, the Abundant Birth Project (ABP). ABP will provide unconditional cash supplements to Black and Pacific Islander mothers as a strategy to reduce preterm birth and improve economic outcomes for our communities. ABP is an opportunity to transform San Francisco into a city where all children have a healthy start at life.”
But, according to conservatives—the same people who use Black abortion rates to bolster their so-called pro-life agenda—the program that helps the life expectancy of Black women birthing children is just another example of Jim Crow-style anti-white discrimination.
But the future of the Abundant Birth Project is clouded by a lawsuit alleging that the program, the first of its kind in the nation, illegally discriminates by giving the stipend only to people of a specific race. The lawsuit also targets San Francisco guaranteed-income programs serving artists, transgender people and Black young adults.
A handful of activist nonprofit groups and law firms are leading the charge. Do No Harm, a nonprofit formed in 2022, has sued health commissions, pharmaceutical companies and public health journals to try to stop them from choosing applicants based on race. Do No Harm claims more than 6,000 members worldwide and partners with nonprofit legal organizations, most notably the Pacific Legal Foundation, which garnered national attention when it defended California’s same-sex marriage ban.
Another nonprofit, the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, together with a Dallas-based law firm called the American Civil Rights Project, filed the lawsuit against the city of San Francisco and the state of California over the Abundant Birth Project, alleging the program violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment by granting money exclusively to Black and Pacific Islander women. The 14th Amendment was passed after the Civil War to give rights to formerly enslaved Black people.
The lawsuit calls public money used for the project and the three other guaranteed-income programs “discriminatory giveaways” that are “illegal, wasteful, and injurious.”
“The city and county of San Francisco crafted the Abundant Birth Project with the express intention of picking beneficiaries based on race,” Dan Morenoff, executive director of the American Civil Rights Project, said in a phone interview. “It’s unconstitutional. They can’t legally do it, and we are optimistic that the courts will not allow them to continue to do it.”
Nothing quite says “White Supremacists R Us” like white conservative organizations that fight anti-white discrimination while supporting policies that would ban gay couples from getting married, or groups that cite a Constitution that was never written with Black people in mind to argue about why Black women shouldn’t be helped to survive childbirth more often.
It’s also worth mentioning that Expecting Justice, the organization that launched the program, is led by a Black woman, Dr. Zea Malawa, a pediatrician and public health professional. This matters, of course, because it’s not the first time white conservative groups have filed complaints against Black women who launched funds to help other Black women.
In September, we reported that the American Alliance for Equal Rights filed a suit against an Atlanta-based venture capital firm that offers a grant program called the Fearless Fund, which exclusively serves entrepreneurial Black women and women of color. The fund is run by two Black women, Arian Simone and Ayana Parsons.
Here’s what I wrote in our previous report:
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.”
And opponents of ALP are using the exact same tactic with the exact same motivation. It’s anti-Black racism perpetuated by anti-Black racists under the guise of combatting the anti-white racism that exists only in their white and fragile imaginations. It’s a fight for symbolic equality at the expense of true equality.
As much as Republicans grandstand about “division” in America, the truth is that conservatives are the natural enemies of progressives because conservatism is the antithesis of progress. Every effort to make things better for non-white people is attacked as an effort to hurt white people. That’s exactly what opposition to civil rights movements in America has always been about.
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