A Dallas-based group that prides itself on defunding the police and labeling people who don’t comply with their “equity” initiatives as “racists” is asking “wealthy white liberals” in the city to pledge to keep their children from applying to and attending Ivy League and U.S. News & World Report Top 50 schools.
“Talk is not enough. Commit yourself towards taking action and making sacrifices to correct centuries of injustice. Open up spaces for Black and LatinX communities by refusing to send your kids to Ivy League and US News & World Report Top 50 schools and encourage friends, neighbors, and family members to do the same,” the “racial justice” organization Dallas Justice Now demands on its website. “Imagine if those hundreds of thousands of spots at these institutions were occupied only by marginalized communities. Imagine the opportunities. We can achieve true equity within our lifetimes but only if white folks are willing to sacrifice their privileges.”
The pledge, which was directed toward residents in Dallas’ richest neighborhood, asks white people not only to acknowledge their “privilege” and “whiteness,” but also to “make sacrifices for the purpose of correcting hundreds of years of murder, slavery, discrimination, and lack of educational and economic opportunities perpetrated upon people of color.”
“Have you been asked to take the pledge? Don’t be a racist hypocrite. Sign the pledge today!” the website reads.
The group also issued printed versions of the pledge to Democrat, Black Lives Matter-supporting residents of the high-income area, accusing them of “earn[ing] or inherit[ing] your money through oppressing people of color.”
“We are writing to you because we understand you are white and live within the Highland Park Independent School District and thus benefit from enormous privileges taken at the expense of communities of color,” the letter stated. “It is also our understanding that you are a Democrat and supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, which makes you one of our white allies and puts you in a position to help correct these cruel injustices. We need you to step up and back up your words with action and truly sacrifice to make our segregated city more just.”
As of Monday, there were no names published under the “White Allies Who Signed” section.
One recipient of the letter, Casie Tomlin, couldn’t believe what she read.
“There’s no way an organization would send this,” Tomlin told Dallas City Wire.
In response to Tomlin’s comments, the group alleged that she perpetrated “racist and hateful attacks” against Dallas Justice Now “by making a $3 donation to DJN only to claim the Dallas-based organization is a scam a few minutes later.” The group also used its Facebook page to accuse Tomlin of being “the embodiment of white privilege and white fragility, a ‘Karen.’”
“Calling the police on people of color when not in imminent danger is itself an act of violence,” the group founder Michele Washington wrote.
Tomlin, however, denied the allegations and accused the group of targeting her.
“I wholeheartedly dispute and deny all accusations made by Michele Washington and Dallas Justice Now,” she said, in part, in an email. “Ms. Washington’s statements are factually incorrect and intentionally misleading. Her statements are part of an ongoing campaign of harassment lodged against me, a single mother, because of an agenda she wishes to advance. I am now and have always been an active advocate for social justice.”
In a press release and interview, Washington also named where Tomlin works and claimed she harasses Dallas Justice Now by calling the police “to distract from the fact that she doesn’t want to make a single sacrifice to remedy the injustices that face our city.
Neither Dallas Justice Now nor Washington, who appears to be the primary and possibly only contact for the group, responded to The Federalist’s multiple attempts to contact them for comment and verification. When The Federalist searched the Internal Revenue Service nonprofit database, no tax-exempt status for the group was shown.
While Dallas Justice Now’s website and even Facebook page make sweeping statements using the term “we,” any signs of collaboration of a team all point back to Washington, whose personal Facebook profile doesn’t have any public activity since October 2020, when she claims to have founded Dallas Justice Now. Washington’s media presence is also limited to the site’s blog and a few short comments to local press about the recent letter.
This story has been updated since publication.
Later reports indicated that it was a hoax campaign that started under an astroturf public relations firm. Whoever ran the website used various methods such as backdating blog posts and providing an address to a co-working space to give the impression of legitimacy.
The firm in question claimed that it started Dallas Justice Now as a client but terminated the project when they found out DJN’s intentions.
“Arena did not and would never support an activity of this type. We were working with a client and when we learned what their objective was, the project was terminated. Unfortunately, it appears someone from the group copied the original code containing a link to the abandoned ‘under construction’ website, which linked to our server,” Clint Brown, Arena’s chief operating officer told Vice News.