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VF Corp Board Member Steps Down after Calling Black Lives Matter Activists ‘True Racists’

Following a public fallout, apparel giant VF Corp announced that the board member who dismissed racism and Black Lives Matter is stepping down.

Veronica Wu will step down after Axios released an email of her calling Black Lives Matter activists “the true racists.”

According to a press release, Wu’s resignation “was not the result of any disagreement with VF on any matter relating to VF’s operations, policies, or practices.”

VF is one of the largest companies in the United States. It owns Vans, North Face, Timberland, and other brands. Last week Axios published an internal email where 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 the email in response to a company note that Juneteenth would be recognized as a company holiday at Hone Capital, a venture capital firm where Wu served as managing partner.

Emails Released by Axios

According to Axios: 

  • Wu responded that she didn’t know about the holiday, which commemorates when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, learned of their emancipation.
  • After the office manager explained that—and noted other companies were honoring the day because of the country’s renewed focus on racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder—Wu said she was “particularly not supportive.”

This is not the first time Wu has sent racist emails. According to Axios, Wu expressed similar comments while at Hone Capital, which claims to have “a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination.”

“She would say ‘the reason you don’t see African Americans in tech is because they’re lazy and don’t work,’” a former Hone employee told Axios.

Meantime, CEO Steve Rendle said last June.

“Racism is not welcome at VF Corporation. It never has been and never will be.”

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