I’m not going to go into detail about this issue, which was described on Bari Weiss’s site (I think her article is free). Suffice it to say that it tells the tale of how a progressive Democrat, who worked in the trenches for the Legal Aid Society, providing legal help to the indigent (largely black people), can still get harassed and bullied because she doesn’t adhere to the au courant version of critical race theory.
Click on the screenshot to read about Maud Maron, a liberal lawyer trained by Kathleen Cleaver (look her up), and an employee of the Legal Aid Society of New York since 1998. By all accounts of her close colleagues, she’s a terrific lawyer. But none of those who praised her dared give their names. Why? Because she’s in the process of being canceled for writing a letter to the New York Post denouncing the racial tribalism promoted by Critical Race Theory and its everyday interpretations and tenets.
Here’s Weiss’s article:
Here’s the letter that Maron, who has the best social-justice bona fides of any white person I know, wrote to the New York Post (click on the screenshot):
Quotes from the letter:
I am a mom, a public defender, an elected public-school council member and a City Council candidate. But at a city Department of Education anti-bias training, I was instructed to refer to myself as a “white woman” — as if my whole life reduces to my race.
Those who oppose this ideology are shunned and humiliated, even as it does nothing to actually improve our broken schools.
Though facing severe budget cuts, the DOE has spent more than $6 million for the training, which defines qualities such as “worship of the written word,” “individualism” and “objectivity” as “white-supremacy culture.”
The administration, and many local politicians, buy into a benign-sounding but chilling doctrine called anti-racism, which insists on defining everyone by race, invites discrimination and divides all thought and behavior along a racial axis.
Many of the theories trace to “White Fragility,” a small-minded book which relentlessly insists all white people are racist and need to think about race all the time. Conveniently for its author, who charges $6,000 an hour to discuss this conundrum, there is no way to fix the situation … except with more of her expensive workshops.
. . .We all want a well-integrated, high-quality public-school system. Parents have the right to demand an education that prepares their children to meet or exceed grade-level expectations, which in America often lag other countries.
Those who yell the loudest about integration should stop the accusations against those who think or speak differently than they do about the shared goal of integrated, quality schools — and find ways to work together.
Well, you can imagine the result. Maron was attacked by the Black Attorneys of Legal Aid Caucus, who said she wasn’t qualified to be a public defender, and called “a classic example of what 21st century racism looks like.” Her commitment to representing people of color in court (which she had done very well) was questioned, and the social-media mob went after her on Twitter. One example:
The result? She filed a Title VII lawsuit for workplace harassment, and is having trouble finding not only lawyers to defend her, but also people to defend her using their names. Bunch of cowards! Nor did the Legal Aid Society come to her defense before the lawsuit was filed.
Here’s Maron’s 168-page lawsuit against Legal Aid for creating a hostile work environment (click on screenshot):
This is a prime example of what Sam Harris referred to yesterday in his interview with Helen Pluckrose when he said these things:
“Grownups should be able to talk about more or less everything with a cool head and not endlessly castigate one another for merely thinking out loud.”
“One of the things that’s so pernicious about this silencing effect is that it creates an illusion of consensus where you have the most voluble and hysterical activists taking up most of the oxygen and successfully cowing other people into silence for fear of the reputational damage that awaits them if they open their big mouths on any number of topics, race being only one.”
. . . “Racism exists in some places, but doesn’t exist everywhere, and it is being claimed to exist everywhere and is being found everywhere in what is clearly a mass hallucination. And this hallucination is being defended by people who are highly incentivized to defend it; and the level of dishonesty and callousness that surrounds this whole enterprise is just appalling. Genuinely good people, who everybody knows are not racist or sexist or transphobic, are being sacrificed to this new religion.”
Maud Maron is one of the genuinely good people who is becoming a human sacrifice. Ceiling Cat help us all!
34 thoughts on “Legal Aid Society demonizes progressive public defender who criticized racial tribalism”
As Benjamin Disraeli wrote, “Race is everything.”
I don’t think that Disraeli brings light or clarity to this issue. His views of race, typical of those in the mid-19th century, were old-school white supremacist:
The Black Attorneys of Legal Aid Caucus was absolutely correct when they said this was “a classic example of what 21st century racism looks like” because being a liberal in favor of equal rights is 21st century racism.
If an actual liberal called me a racist, I would self reflect but I am proud of being considered a (21st century) racist by these illiberal asshats. Of course, when I worked at a university I silenced myself because I had a mortgage and a children to feed.
because being a liberal in favor of equal rights is 21st century racism
As Thomas Sowell put it:
A lot of people are in your situation, Curtis, and your calculation makes total sense. I am differently situated: I have no dependents, some money from my earlier careers, and editors who back me up at every turn for the two places (lefty websites) I write my column for. Due to ill health I’m not working now but I plan on pitching right into this madness when I’m better. I think given my situation it is essential to not let this divisive poison go unanswered.
Ms. Maron stepped out of line by criticizing the NYC Department of Education’s expensive agit-prop training programs, which denounce such heresies as “worship of the written word”, “objectivity”, and
“individualism”. In contrast, the DOE has been busy dismantling any part of education that could be
charged with “meritocracy”: programs for gifted students, honors classes, advanced placement classes; and it is whittling away at admissions tests for the advanced high schools like Brooklyn Tech, Bronx HS of Science, and Stuyvesant. This agenda of the New York City educrat establishment is described at: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/inconvenient-minority-kenny-xu .
Thanks for the link, Jon. An engrossing article. I’m looking forward to reading Xu’s book from which it is taken.
As a graduate of one of NYC’s specialized high schools, I am appalled by the assault on meritocracy, both in general and regard to the high schools. It seems that in some circles the word “meritocracy” has become synonymous with white supremacy or the rich perpetuating their own while everyone else remains at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. However, I accept Wikipedia’s definition: “Meritocracy (merit, from Latin mereō, and -cracy, from Ancient Greek κράτος kratos ‘strength, power’) is a political system in which economic goods and/or political power are vested in individual people on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than wealth or social class. Advancement in such a system is based on performance, as measured through examination or demonstrated achievement.”
In my naiveté, I found it hard to believe that anyone could disagree this. But, I am learning that in a country where extremism seems to be growing, long-held beliefs are now being condemned. Leftist extremists have adopted a successful tactic of the right: be relentless, never admit being wrong, and always without hesitation attack your opponents. Truth and reasoned discussion need not be considered. However, there is one major difference between the leftist and rightist extremists: the latter have the larger numbers and have decades of experience in effective propaganda techniques. When people that are by nature in the middle are scared, they will turn right. Ultimately, the left will be crushed (although it is virtually certain they will learn nothing from this), and the country will be worse off than before the usual irrational leftist rantings gained public attention. This is what the Republican Party is banking on. I fear it may not be wrong. I fear democracy is hanging by a threat.
Last sentence should be “hanging by a thread.” But, maybe “threat” also applies.😊
Hell, one of the US’s two major political parties has given up on majority-rule democracy — the one that’s lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, the one whose 50 US senators represent tens of millions fewer constituents than the 50 US senators from the other party, the one that picked up 14 seats in the House of Representatives in the last election despite getting three million fewer votes.
The less-populous states were coaxed into joining the union by means of the Great Compromise of 1787. What incentive would you like to suggest to induce the smaller states to relinquish the benefit of that compromise?
In 1787, the United States comprised 13 states along the eastern seaboard with a total population of less than 4 million people. The most populous state had (counting its slaves) about 12 times the population of the least. Today, the nation spans the continent, with a total population topping 330 million, and the largest state has nearly 80 times the population of the smallest.
I do not think the US constitution’s framers — as prescient as they were in some respects — could have anticipated this state of affairs. But to answer your question on the terms presented, I also do not think the small states could be offered any “incentive” to induce them to forego the unconscionable advantage they now enjoy in per capita representation in the US senate.
What could be done now, however, is to extend to the United States citizens living in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico the same right to representation in the US senate as are enjoyed by other US citizens. What also could be done is to assign the drawing of congressional districts to a nonpartisan commission, rather leaving it to the ruthless predations of partisan gerrymandering. Finally, we could (and should) abandon the anachronistic and absurd electoral college. If the last presidential election demonstrated anything to reasonable US citizens it is the plethora of arcane loopholes that pointless institution makes available to an unscrupulous incumbent to endeavor to exploit for nefarious ends.
I do not think the US constitution’s framers — as prescient as they were in some respects — could have anticipated this state of affairs.
As I calculate it, in 2021 California had 68 times the population of Wyoming, not 80 times.
Between 1700 and 1790 Virginia increased its population10 times, yet North Carolina increased its population 79 times (using an estimate for 1700). Certainly the framers realized that state populations increase at vastly different rates and that larger states have more room for expansion than smaller ones. Furthermore, why is 12 times OK but 68 times is too much? What’s the maximum? In 1890 when Wyoming became a state, New York had 96 times the population of Wyoming. In 1960 just after Alaska was added, New York had 74 times the population. When did this become intolerable?
I also do not think the small states could be offered any “incentive” to induce them to forego the unconscionable advantage they now enjoy in per capita representation in the US senate.
It seems analogous to a situation where the seller agrees to sell land, the price to be paid over 20 years. Then after five years the value of the land has gone up much more than the seller expected so he says that the buyer is unconscionable because he isn’t willing to renegotiate the price. The smaller states got the benefit of the bargain here. The same considerations exist now that existed in 1787: the smaller states want to minimize the political advantage of the population disparity and maximize the impact of federalism.
What could be done now, however, is to extend to the United States citizens living in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico the same right to representation in the US senate as are enjoyed by other US citizens.
So your solution for an ‘unconscionable advantage’ is to create more of it. That’s curious. Why not just let the voters in D.C. vote for the Maryland senators? Furthermore, the practice in the past when adding states has been to do it in a balanced way so that one political party is not advantaged.
What an interesting article. Quite depressing though.
In SA, sadly, we also have this ‘ basically pass everyone’ tendency, especiaally in primary schools.
Let’s hope her lawsuit leaves a mark. This episode surely shows that CRT has escaped from academia and is spreading fast. I am still against anti-CRT laws but also against those educators who claim that they are just trying to teach US history with more honesty, that there’s nothing to see here so move along.
But did you notice that her lawsuit is a 168-page written document? That’s straight-up, offensive white supremacy for a start. None of her critics, in education, law, the CRT industry, would be so crass as to read it or write a reply.
Did you look at what was in those 168 pages? 13 pages for the lawsuit and the rest for exhibits, collective bargaining agreements that were referred to, etc. No question about it. Including exhibits instead of making the reader go out on the Internet and find them is straight-up, offensive white supremacy.
One sometimes encounters the anti-anti-woke casuistry that “cancel culture” never goes as far as putting its victims in prison, but merely gets them dismissed from jobs or student positions. On the other hand, the Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s, which denied employment to a few previously very well-paid writers and actors, is routinely pictured as a reign of terror. It might also be recalled that simple denial of employment was a standard penalty imposed on dissidents in East Germany and in USSR-occupied Czechoslovakia. In the latter utopian society, this policy is why the writer Vaclav Havel was forced to find employment in a brewery, and the celebrated foreign correspondent Jiří Dienstbier, fired from his newspaper, had to work as a janitor for 20 years.
That’s interesting. So the cancelers defend themselves by claiming that they aren’t actually the ones doing the firing? If they scare Walmart, say, into firing one of their employees for a racist tweet made when they were 15, what business is it of theirs? They are just expressing an opinion or just asking questions. Of course, we aren’t claiming that cancelers are breaking laws. Some do (physical threats, revealing private information, hacking of accounts, etc.) but we have ways of dealing with them. Cancel Culture is just a shoddy way to treat fellow human beings. Similarly, CRT isn’t illegal, it is just a bad way of dealing with racism.
Hell, they got a Mexican worker for the electricity company in San Diego fired for getting photographed cracking his knuckles outside his car window in a shape that looked like the “OK sign,” which people now apparently consider to be a white power sign. https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/sdge-worker-fired-over-alleged-racist-gesture-says-he-was-cracking-knuckles/2347414/
I crack my knuckles like that all the damn time. You can’t even crack your knuckles now without the fear of someone photographing it and a Twitter mob destroying your life…
Interesting, I see Cafferty recently filed a lawsuit, and the lawsuit says that managers from the company showed up at his house just several hours after to revoke his credentials and tell him he was suspended. Like the freakin’ Stasi or something. He was then formally fired a week later, after a “thorough investigation” made in “good faith” (those quotes taken from the previously posted article).
If I were placed in a sensitivity training session where I was told to admit that there is both overt and covert (structural) racism in our society, I would have no trouble admitting that. If I were told to announce to the group that I have benefited in numerous ways by simply being white – again, I personally would have no trouble saying so, in public. Others may balk at this, and that’s ok with me! The real chilling thing going on here is that these sessions at least sometimes try to compel participants into certain forms of speech, and that strikes me as deeply morally wrong. It also seems like it should be illegal.
Agreed. In general, the problem with CRT is not its recognition of structural racism, and the US’s true history with respect to slavery (notwithstanding the silly 1619 stuff), but on the remedies it recommends. Treating all white people as racist is just a non-starter for me. I’ll go as far to say that we all have built-in tribalistic tendencies but not much farther.
It also seems like it should be illegal.
The wheels of the law turn slowly but lawsuits should soon be working their way up to the courts of appeals concerning whether some of the practices said to be occurring in CRT training constitute harassment under the civil rights laws, creating a hostile work environment. I can’t imagine that a federal court of appeals could call it justified without objective evidence that, for example, a person’s “whiteness” is a bad thing and that people should be required to denounce it in themselves and others.
I’m counting on this as well; I’m actually a little surprised that massive class actions suits along these lines aren’t already in the pipeline and well-publicized. It may be that in a number of cases, lawfare initiated by some of the emerging, very tough pro-free-speech, pro-open-society organizations such as FIRE and the Academic Freedom Alliance has resulted in judgments favoring the victims of the woke mob, so that the process has already taken its course. But somewhere along the line there may well be a major test of academic freedom or other protections of workplace rights that will go much higher up the line. Should any such case reach SCOTUS, my guess is that the legal foundations of ad hominem cancellation, of the sort hypothesized by Paul Topping in the subthread under post 5. above, are going to be shattered beyond repair. Please, please bring it on….
ad hominem cancellation
This describes it perfectly. In fact, I have never seen a logical defense of Critical Race Theory that didn’t assume what it needed to demonstrate. The ad hominem is the only arrow in their quiver.
CRT is the apotheosis of the ad hominem fallacy.
The only thing that matters is who you are. Not your ideas, your behavior, or your achievements.
(Yes, I know that recognizing (a white person’s) achievements is white supremacy. /sarcasm)
The ad hominem is the only arrow in their quiver.
I guess that Begging the Question is a second arrow.
We of the Russianx community are well aware that the history of the world is one long conspiracy to oppress and marginalize the peoples of Eurasia by means of the accursed Latin alphabet. We plan to educate everyone about this through our “1054 Проект “. It demonstrates how everything has gone steadily downhill since the Latin Church excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinope in 1054.
My apologies for a typo, due to our difficulty with the Latin counterpart of Л. On the other hand, “Constantinope” does have a ring to it.
Cyrillic schmyrillic. Just accept the updated Nicene Creed and we’ll let bygones be bygones.
What 21st Century “racism” looks like:
People who get off their asses and actually do something to help disadvantaged people and aren’t cowardly enough to spew ideological lies.
What 21st Century “anti-racism” looks like:
People who do nothing but live in affluent white suburbs and virtue signal against the racists discussed above, along with people using social justice to cash out for themselves.
I wish her well in her suit. I suspect that the main problem her lawyers will face is in demonstrating that the treatment she received was due to her race rather than to her views.
It seems to me that she has been seriously defamed and that a very hostile workplace has been created for her and those things alone would be grounds for a successful action without the claim that she was a victim of racism. But then again I am not a lawyer, so maybe they know best.
Also I am not sure that a claim of racial discrimination can be said to bear out Sam Harris’s claim that racism isn’t everywhere.