A former Bernie Sanders campaign staff member and racial justice director for his 2016 campaign, Tezlyn Figaro, has filed a lawsuit against pro-Sanders group Our Revolution, claiming racial discrimination and seeking backpay and punitive damages.
Figaro appeared on “Fox & Friends” this morning and said that she is among several people who have been “concerned for years with issues of racism” among people working for the Vermont senator. She indicated it was important for her to file the federal lawsuit and to lay out her allegations about what she experienced in 2016.
“I’m not saying he himself is racist, but his movement is. It is a reason why no one from the 2016 black outreach department is there working for Senator Sanders,” she said.
Figaro also complained that the group’s board questioned why Figaro was organizing so many Sanders events in black neighborhoods.
Reports have indicated Figaro, former consultant and director of strategic outreach for the group, was fired from Our Revolution in May 2018 after she appeared on Fox News in April 2018 and made comments praising President Trump while saying his critics say they don’t like that he’s shaking up the system. She also had made waves previously saying that immigrants are “coming into the country and getting benefits that Americans do not get,” as well as getting away with crimes while African-Americans go to prison.
Fox host Steve Doocy pointed out to Figaro that Buzzfeed last week ran a story on her with a headline that claimed she was fired for anti-immigrant remarks. She replied that it was a “lie.” She indicated that story was planted by Lucy Flores and originally given to Politico who ran with that story without ever contacting Figaro for her comments or looking at her record of “over 20 years of fighting for black issues.”
“That was not why I was fired. It was because of black outreach,” said Figaro.
There has been an ongoing feud between Figaro and Lucy Flores former board member of the pro-Sanders group who Figaro mentioned recently made headlines with accusations against Joe Biden.
Video by Fox News
In her lawsuit, Figaro’s lawyer wrote that she “vehemently denies” any effort to frame her comments as “anti-immigrant.” In a comment provided Friday to Buzzfeed, Figaro said, “I was never a Trump supporter and I was not anti-immigrant. My focus was to address the issues concerning African-Americans.”
Figaro’s lawsuit makes wide-ranging claims about the alleged discrimination at the Our Revolution … to include her view that its leadership “did not share” Figaro’s ambition to “providing African-Americans equal access to Our Revolution.”
The Buzzfeed article said:
Figaro made numerous internal complaints about the workplace culture there; that she received “tremendous pushback” from the board in response to her efforts to “address issues important to the African-American community”; and that, in May 2018, despite a recommendation from Turner, she was denied a promotion “due to [her] race and in retaliation for [her] complaints regarding Our Revolution’s treatment towards her and African-Americans.”
“She was personally attacked for raising concerns about issues affecting African-Americans and Our Revolution’s exclusion of African-American issues from its agenda,” the lawsuit reads.
Neither Buzzfeed nor Fox News received responses to their requests for comment from the Sanders campaign.
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