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May 21, 2024

A DEI Crook Gets Caught

In yet another blow to a dubious industry, Facebook and Nike were victimized for more than $5 million by their own DEI administrator.

When corporate America caved to the Black Lives Matter movement (and its associated rioting) to adopt diversity, equity, and inclusion as a corporate priority, it necessitated the hiring of a slew of administrators to ensure compliance with the dictates of racial hucksters like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi.

While DiAngelo, Kendi, and the Marxist BLM trio led by Patrisse Cullors raked in the big bucks from frightened Fortune 500 corporations for their advice and protection — in the case of Cullors, enough to buy a $6 million California mansion — there came a crop of wannabes who wanted in on that graft.

One case in point was an administrator at Facebook, one of the companies that pioneered and promoted the idea of DEI. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Barbara Furlow-Smiles had a position where, “from January 2017 to September 2021, she led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs at Facebook and was responsible for developing and executing DEI initiatives, operations, and engagement programs.” After leaving Facebook, she moved on to Nike, where she worked in a similar capacity from November 2021 until her termination in February 2023.

What seemed like a standard job change, however, was revealed to be much more. Last week, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Furlow-Smiles was “sentenced for stealing more than $5 million based on an elaborate scheme involving fraudulent vendors, fictitious paperwork, and cash kickbacks.” All told, Furlow-Smiles now faces 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release — not to mention restitution of the more than $5.1 million she purloined from Facebook and Nike. It makes you wonder what Nike was thinking when hiring her, although maybe that’s what we should expect from a company that started its DEI grift by hiring infamous knee-taker Colin Kaepernick.

Over her six-year career, Furlow-Smiles, 38, set up a system that took advantage of interns, her hairstylist, babysitters, and nannies to perform what could be described as a money-laundering scheme. She would pay them for “services” and be repaid in cash, including deliveries being wrapped in T-shirts.

Hiding something from Facebook? Almost seems like just desserts for a company that specializes in hiding certain information dispensed from its, shall we say, politically incorrect customers.

Regardless, it’s another blow to a DEI industry being roiled by layoffs as corporate America — and especially academia — cuts the flab from leadership structures. Americans are also souring on Kendi’s fundamental premise: “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

Meanwhile, studies extolling the benefits of DEI programs at the corporate level have recently been debunked. As colleges do a mass culling of DEI administrators, it wasn’t a good time for this sad tale to come out.

It seems like the whole DEI industry has become a money pit. Now that we’re turning the tide on corporate America, the next step will be to get the government out of the game. Perhaps it will encourage the next would-be grifter to consider an honest living instead.

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