Wendell Pierce Reveals Racist Landlord Rejected His Application: ‘When You Deny Our Personal Experiences, You Are as Vile and Despicable’

The “Raising Kanan” and “Elsbeth” hit out on social following today’s 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against the Fearless Fund

Wendell Pierce speaks onstage at the Raising Kanan FYC Event 2024 on May 11, 2024 in New York City.
Wendell Pierce speaks onstage at the Raising Kanan FYC Event 2024 on May 11, 2024 in New York City. (Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Starz Entertainment LLC)

Actor Wendell Pierce revealed on Twitter that he was recently denied an apartment rental by a white landlord despite his success and fame. “Racism and bigots are real. There are those who will do anything to destroy life’s journey for Black folks. When you deny our personal experiences, you are as vile and despicable,” he wrote.

The anecdote followed a series of tweets in which Pierce shared his frustration in the wake of Monday’s 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against the Fearless Fund. The federal appeals court blocked the Atlanta-based fund from continuing its contest that gives awards to businesses owned by Black women.

“For those of you who don’t understand my righteous anger; I’m on 2 TV series, ELSBETH and RAISING KANAN. I’m filming SUPERMAN. Two years ago, I finished the fourth season of JACK RYAN. Last year I finished a run on Broadway in DEATH OF A SALESMAN,” the “Jack Ryan” star said.

“Even with my proof of employment, bank statements and real estate holdings, a white apartment owner DENIED my application to rent the apartment…..in Harlem, of all places. Racism and bigots are real. There are those who will do anything to destroy life’s journey for Black folks. When you deny our personal experiences, you are as vile and despicable.”

As Pierce explained in a series of tweets, affirmative action opponent Edward Blum challenged the Fearless Fund in court by using a Reconstruction-era civil rights law, Section 1981, in his argument. The law prohibits the use of discrimination in contracts and was established to protect formerly enslaved people.

“Private investment into Black businesses being blocked with laws in place to prevent discrimination against Black businesses. The racist irony. Racist, bigoted, fascist Americans who burned down Black Wall Street in Tulsa 100 years ago are still alive and well,” Pierce tweeted.

The actor also mocked the oft parroted conservative insistence on “less government intervention in our lives” and added, “The GOP, Right Wing, MAGA agenda is making it clear that their vision of America does not include Black folks having the same rights guaranteed by the constitution. In their America we are even allowed to exercise our right of self determination and build business with their intentions to destroy them.”

“It makes me sick motherf–ker how far you will go to destroy our ability to live our lives in peace and prosperity,” he continued. “Attacked in schools, attacked by police, attacked for expecting to live the stated values of this country, and attacked when successful in business. We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal. For generations we have embraced that lie as the violence against our community proves otherwise. It’s getting harder to stay in denial. America.”

The court sided with Blum in a 2-1 ruling, who argued the text of Section 1981 means race cannot be considered in contractual relationships.

The Fearless Fund program offers $20,000 in grants and mentorship to Black women who are hoping to expand their brands and businesses. The organization argued in court that the program was protected by the First Amendment.

Judge Kevin Newsom, who was appointed by Donald Trump, wrote, “The fact remains, though, that Fearless simply—and flatly—refuses to entertain applications from business owners who aren’t ‘black females.’” He added that if that refusal could be protected by the First Amendment, “so would be every act of race discrimination.”

In his dissent, Barack Obama appointee Judge Robin Rosenbaum argued Blum and the American Alliance for Equal Rights did not have standing to bring the suit in the first place because none of its members had been rejected by the Fearless Fund.

Blum has a history of targeting organizations and firms on similar grounds following the June 2023 Supreme Court decision that outlawed affirmative action. In October, two law firms changed fellowship programs that targeted underrepresented groups following lawsuits waged by Blum and his organization.

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