See when you do clownery, the clown comes back to bite.
On Tuesday, VF Corp. announced that board member Veronica Wu would be stepping down after an email of her dismissing racism and calling Black Lives Matter activists “the true racists” was publicly released last week.
According to Axios, a press release from the apparel giant stated that Wu’s resignation “was not the result of any disagreement with VF on any matter relating to VF’s operations, policies or practices.” Wu was elected to the board in 2019.
In the email, published by Axios, Wu wrote, “If we judge racism by requiri[n]g every job has to be based on a racial proportion vs. merits, then NBA should not have so many black players. I don’t see people complaining about that.” Wu then continues to write, “I don’t believe in Black Lives Matter. If anything I think they are the true racists trying to stir up things to make this country going [sic] to socialism or even communism potentially.”
Wu sent this email when Hone Capital, a venture capital firm where Wu was working as managing partner, announced it was recognizing Juneteenth as a company holiday in 2020.
Business Insider reports that Wu is no longer employed by Hone Capital and is now the founder and managing partner at a biotech venture capital firm, First Bight Capital, according to her LinkedIn profile. Insider also notes that VF Corp knew about the email and found it to be legitimate after investigating earlier this year.
Apparently, Wu gets away with expressing racist sentiments regularly.
Wu’s email was not the first time she expressed similar comments while at Hone Capital — which touts a “zero-tolerance policy for ... discrimination” on its website — one of the firm’s former employees alleges.
- “She would say ‘the reason you don’t see African Americans in tech is because they’re lazy and don’t work,’” they said.
- Black people are underrepresented in Silicon Valley because of systemic barriers to entry. Three percent of venture capital investment partner positions were held by Blacks in 2020, according to a survey by The National Venture Capital Association. And just 1.2% of all venture funding went to Black startup entrepreneurs in the first half of this year, per Crunchbase.
- Axios’ phone calls to the number listed on Hone’s website were not returned.
Wu has yet to issue any public statement following both the email’s publication and her board resignation.