Today, Bari Weiss has another story of CRT zealotry gone wrong. It’s about a progressive woman named Maud Maron who went to law school and got a job with the Legal Aid Society representing poor clients in Manhattan. She’s a Bernie Sanders donor who worked as a poll watcher for John Kerry. She ran for City Council in 2019 as a Democrat. But Maron has now filed a lawsuit arguing she was effectively forced out of her job at the Legal Aid Society after being discriminated against by the group and its union. According to Maron this unexpected turn of events all happened because she is not a fan of Critical Race Theory:
“None of this would have happened if I just said I loved books like White Fragility, and I’m a fan of Bill de Blasio’s proposals for changing New York City public schools, and I planned to vote for Maya Wiley for mayor. The reason they went after me is because I have a different point of view,” she said…
“I am very open about what I stand for. I am pro-integration. I am pro-diversity. And also I reject the narrative that white parents are to blame for the failures of our school system. I object to the mayor’s proposal to get rid of specialized admissions tests to schools like Stuyvesant. And I believe that racial essentialism is racist and should not be taught in school,” she told me.
Her troubles started in 2019 after a complaint from the Black Attorneys of Legal Aid Caucus and Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid. After a thorough investigation, Maron was cleared in early 2020. But as Weiss frames it, Maron didn’t take the hint. Rather than going silent on her views of CRT, she wrote a piece for the New York Post criticizing the Department of Educations anti-bias training:
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.
Three days later the Black Attorneys of Legal Aid Caucus issued a lengthy statement saying Maron had no right having a career at Legal Aid and that they were ashamed that she worked there. Here’s the statement in full:
“You cannot oppose anti-racism and effectively represent Black and Brown people. It’s impossible.” @MaudMaron has no business having a career in public defense, and we’re ashamed that she works for the Legal Aid Society. pic.twitter.com/6en6L4anGE
— BlackAttysofLegalAid (@BALA_NYC) July 27, 2020
And here’s a bit of what it said:
It declared: “Maud is racist, and openly so,” and offered no evidence to back up the charge. It said that this veteran public defender was a “prominent opponent of equality” and a “classic example of what 21st century racism looks like.”
The statement said that Maron “is one of many charlatans who took this job not out of a desire to make a difference, but for purposes of self-imaging.” It claimed: “She pretends to favor integration while fighting against it and denying the existence of racism in education.”
The statement went on to claim she had a “questionable” commitment to representing poor clients of color. But Maron’s supervisor said that was absurd. “Any suggestion that she was anything other than a top-flight lawyer that the Legal Aid Society should be damn proud to have on their staff is a crock,” he told Weiss. He said that other people weren’t willing to publicly support Maron because, “Everybody is scared to death of the r-word.”
And indeed, a group of four fellow legal aid lawyers wrote a piece calling Maron a segregation activist and a racist.
Which brings us to yesterday when she filed her lawsuit. She told Weiss that while part of her wants to just walk away, she is determined not to let the ideologues get away with it: “Not enough people stand up and say: It is totally wrong to do this to a person. And this is not going to stop unless people stand up to it.”