The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States, has rejected accusations of racism made by its former president Alphonso David, The Washington Post reported.
In a court filing on Monday, HRC lawyers argued David’s claims were mostly untrue, including an allegation by a senior HRC official that David’s support for racial justice was seen as a risk ; which could alienate white donors, especially “white gay people”.
The advocacy group also denied David’s claims that he was paid less than his predecessor and an HRC chairman told him he had received a low salary because of his race, adding an accusation that the organization was not ready to be led by a black person.
David was fired by the HRC last September after an internal investigation revealed that David had helped the former governor of New York. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York’s Attorney General calls Andrew Cuomo a ‘sick and pathetic man’ WATCH: Stories from the weekend you may have missed (D) during his sexual harassment scandal, according to the Post.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James (D)’s report last August revealed that David helped Cuomo by seeking signatures for a letter that attempted to undermine Cuomo’s accuser Lindsey Boylan.
The organization initially asked David to resign from his post, but he refused to do so, the Post reported.
“All employment actions taken by HRC with respect to the Applicant’s employment were based solely on legitimate and non-discriminatory reasons, and were in no way based on the Applicant’s race or any other protected characteristic”, HRC lawyers wrote in their court filing.
In a statement, David told the newspaper that his former employer’s response was “another sign that HRC leadership is out of touch with its organizational reality and woefully blind to the systemic inequalities that continue to plague it.”
“At least four former employees in the past month, including me, have highlighted issues of systemic racism within the organization,” David told the Post. “Rather than fix the problem, HRC is once again trying to erase it, but they can’t run away from the evidence that shows their true colors and I can’t wait to uncover it.”
In an email to employees, the HRC co-chairs reaffirmed its commitment to diversity, The Post noted.
“It is hugely disappointing that a former HRC President is attacking our work, our values and our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, of which he has been a vital part for two years,” they said. wrote the co-chairs in their message.