Last month, Ryan Grim at the Intercept wrote about the internal chaos which had engulfed many of the left’s leading advocacy organizations. The focus on equity and anti-racism which has pushed its way into these groups in the past few years has created a situation where infighting among employees is the norm. The director of one organization told Grim it was “the biggest problem on the left over the last six years.” “This is so big. And it’s like abuse in the family — it’s the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about,” this person added.

Today, the Washington Free Beacon reports on another instance of this widespread trend. In 2020, a Philadelphia non-profit called Women Against Abuse, which helps women dealing with domestic violence, decided to invite two equity consultants to give their organization an audit. According to one former employee, an attorney named Nicole Levitt, the result was a disaster.

“Women Against Abuse used to be liberal,” Levitt told the Washington Free Beacon. “Now it’s illiberal.”…

After the consultants got involved…Women Against Abuse began hosting presentations on defunding the police, whom it discouraged non-white victims of domestic violence from calling.

“It is often unsafe for Black victims, victims of color and immigrant victims to reach out to police for help,” the group posted on its website in the summer of 2020, given the “inherent racism” of law enforcement.

“The police have never been the solution to violence against women,” asserted one PowerPoint presentation, which staffers were required to attend in May 2021. The presentation—”Defund the Police: Safety Planning”—counseled a “restorative justice” approach to domestic violence that used “community-based organizations.”

Levitt, who is Jewish, eventually filed an EEOC complaint alleging a hostile work environment. Under the guidance of the two groups choses as equity auditors, the group announced the creation of a special “Racial Equity Audit Task Force.” Anyone who volunteered for the task force would receive a stipend in addition to their salary; however, BIPOC staffers would receive a larger stipend than other volunteers. This of course is a violation of federal law, specifically Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which prohibits paying people at different rates based on race.

By the spring of 2021, the ongoing audited included segregated “racial affinity spaces” including the white affinity space which Levitt was required to attend. Organizers of that space created a “contract” which everyone present was asked to sign. Among other things the contact stated, “Own that all white people are racist and that I am not the exception.” At that point, Levitt refused to sign and refused to participate in any more segregated affinity groups. The line that she objected to is drawn straight from Robin DiAngelo’s book “White Fragility.” Indeed, White Fragility is listed on the group’s anti-racism resource page.

The website for Women Against Abuse is full of statements about their DEI work. Naturally, these statements sound a lot like confessions of wrongdoing. For instance:

We at Women Against Abuse acknowledge that anti-racism work is intrinsically connected to anti-violence work and is central to our mission. The power inequities that exist in an abusive relationship mirror centuries of white supremacy and racism, in which power is reserved only for a few. We believe it is critical to work to dismantle all forms of oppression, including racism, in order to achieve our mission of ending domestic violence.

We hold ourselves accountable for the ways in which our organization – founded by white feminists in 1976 – has spent much of its 44-year history operating with a white-centered lens, too often minimizing the calls for justice by our Black, Indigenous, Asian and Latinx colleagues, clients, staff members and community partners. We recognize that racism has impacted our approaches, partnerships, leadership composition and allocation of resources…

We are committed to a deep and true reform to unearth where racism continues to operate in our organization; to root it out; and to build an equitable future for our clients and staff members. Members of our staff are currently leading a full-scale race equity audit, committed to illuminating where change is required.

As we strive to dismantle our white-centered ways of operating, we will approach this work with humility, a learning mindset, and a commitment to centering the voices and lived experiences of our Black, Indigenous, Asian and Latinx clients and staff members.

There’s no mention of an EEOC complaint that I could find. The DEI facilitator who led a lot of this activity at Women Against Abuse has a new job now. In January she was hired by the Clinton Foundation’s Global Initiative University.

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