#staymad at Abby? What about Blum?

Washington, DC (TFC) – In October, a quote from a history book in a Texas school went viral. It referred to slaves as workers. I don’t feel the need to go into detail about this propaganda, and I only bring it up as a small window through which we can crawl into the world that is Abby Fisher’s life. She’s from Texas. Our Orwellian society is having major modern impacts. Fisher, educated by Texas school systems, seems to be delusional about how racism functions in our society. It is what causes her entitlement.

It’s notoriously easy to shame a woman, so I’m not to impressed when the world succeeds at doing so. The thing is: Abby isn’t using power, she’s using privilege. There’s a huge difference. The privilege comes from the men in power who are pulling the strings, and Fisher is a just a mascot for a dude named Edward Blum.

Image Source: Comedy Central, screenshot

Image Source: Comedy Central, screenshot

After Larry Wilmore rightfully points out how entitled the basis of the case is on the Nightly Show Thursday, he says: “I don’t want to pick on the Abster, alright? Because […] as with almost all supreme court cases now-a-days, it’s probably not about her.” They cut to a segment from Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, where she reports:

“The case was in fact spearheaded by a man named Edward Blum, a former stock broker. He recruited Fisher after a long search for a student who could challenge affirmative action in court. He came across her because she happened to be the daughter of one of his old friends.” Goodman

Furthermore, the Dallas Observer reported in 2013:

According to a Reuters profile, Blum sought out Fisher, persuaded her to file suit, found her an attorney, and secured thousands in funding from a few sympathetic conservative donors to make sure the case could be appealed to the highest level. (He’s done the same for a dozen or so other suits, including Shelby County vs. Holder, which seeks to strike down a law requiring a few select states — Texas among them — to check with the feds before changing election rules.)

NPR reported back in 2013 that:

Blum, a Michigan-born former investment broker, has for two decades been almost single-handedly orchestrating legal efforts to end affirmative action, and to end mandated federal pre-approval for proposed voting changes in nine states, largely in the Deep South, and other jurisdictions with histories of discrimination.

When it’s about policy, we have to look for the sources, not the face. The face is always going to be manipulated into something they want you to see. Women have been used as props for a long time. If accomplished, a former stock broker will have successfully undermined a well-meaning institution of mandated diversity, without his name implicitly associated as a villain.

Yea, you can let that sink in. Pretty neat trick, huh?

This man is the real predator here. Blum sought out Fisher to fit his pre-determined narrative. Blum has a history of discriminatory legal action. This undermining of legal systems is a threat to affirmative action by proxy. As quoted on the Nightly Show, Fisher wanted to go there because friends and family went there. I wonder what kind of legal case she would mount with that if she were representing herself.

When I think of Abby Fisher, I think about analyzing kid’s history books. Little does she know, the precedent of affirmative action, as a term, refers to “the policy of favoring members of a disadvantaged group who suffer from discrimination within a culture.” [wiki]. Has someone had the chance to sit her down and let her know there are affirmative action programs for women? That women qualify as a disadvantaged group? Apparently this was also left out of her history books.

The ruling of this supreme court hearing could set legal and social precedent for dismantling affirmative action for women. She is, in theory, working against herself, and it seems to me evidence she’s been deceived.

I’m not denying she’s culpable for the things she’d said, and the role she’s played. Her assimilated status needs to be called out, and the entitlement of the defense needs to be analyzed. But there are older men, men she’s supposed to listen to (her father, Blum), giving her bad legal advice. Blum is her dad’s friend. The fact that it’s a man’s agenda and she’s the only one that is being vilified is sexist.

We can’t just take #staymadabby away from this, we need #whataboutblum.

Charles Rae writes about power and social justice. Follow more women-centered news at TFC’s The Fem Column.