By Dean L. Jones
As a result, the assignment either goes to a different black manager, undergoes department restructuring, and/or inevitably the internal and external lack of interest validates a dissolution of the socioeconomic development business model altogether. Underhandedly, for some time the scenario has played itself out with black professionals detaching from socioeconomic development in favor of relying on the sentiment of not wanting to be considered a product of Affirmative Action.
This polluted philosophy sustained by some blacks is that Affirmative Action represents a giveaway operation and anyone produced by such a process comes with insufficient skills. A ghastly manner of thinking deserves the label of a socioeconomic development renegade. Dismally, the inactive application by socioeconomic development managers is a big reason why parity remains a distant reality. Socioeconomic development managers are more of a public information officer at the ready to explain why things are taking so long to improve the quality of life for blacks, serving aloof from seeing the deficiencies correctable, but simply a systemic part of the black community’s inability to work hard on its own behalf.
Moreover, there are blacks in professional capacities whose judgment is built around the premise that blacks should never be afforded an opportunity due to the color of their skin, but stand in line and solely be evaluated on their merits. Mockingly, the very access to higher education opportunities that served to catapult these wise thinking black people into public and private sector positions of affluence is what they choose to abolish. Metaphorically, a portion of black managers have obliterated the very ladder that guided their upward climb to the top, meaning there is no way for them to ever come down from their high horse.
The predicaments are strengthened by renegade black managers’ insistence that the responsibility for opening the door for blacks is their self-proclaimed gatekeeper responsibility, to exclude blacks seen as unworthy to enter their sphere of influence. Case in point;
- A manager of black ethnicity working for a telecommunication corporation once expressed that if he were to make the decision to hire the black in question for his personal use he would readily do so, but in view of his role with corporate America that he would not engage the same qualified black supplier, due to his minority business classification, lessening the supplier’s ability to service a large major corporate contract.
- A major utility company’s office supplies and janitorial services’ buyer of black ethnicity expressed that due to a black owned business five years ago not delivering to his level of satisfaction that he would never purchase from another black-owned and operated business enterprise, reasoning that when blacks fail it reflects negatively on his personal talents due to himself being black.
- The Senior Procurement Director (white) gave carte blanche to a supplier diversity specialist (black) to work out a consulting contract with the bank’s newly assigned supplier diversity manager in their western region. On three mutually agreed upon meeting dates between the local supplier diversity manager (black) and the supplier diversity specialist resulted in a consecutive series of no-shows. The supplier diversity manager for the bank provided reasons for missing the meetings that ranged from being sick with a severe headache, flying to an unscheduled business trip to a woman’s conference in Florida, to lastly leaving the supplier diversity specialist waiting at a bank branch office, which the branch bank manager shared the supplier diversity manager hardly ever visited.
- The budget for this contracting opportunity was to be fully financed by the bank’s corporate Senior Procurement Director, whose follow-up found the local supplier diversity manager’s decision to not outsource okay.
The aforementioned true scenarios exemplify the ultimate in gate keeping, making calls to protect their own turf, especially when potentially bringing other blacks into the fold is identified as competition or a threat to their role as HNIC (Head Negro in Charge) status. Such managers see themselves as a chief fairness officer and thereby posture their outreach efforts as an equal opportunity center, attracting every other race in abundance, just to ensure that they are not seen as favoring black people.
Affirmative action essentially operated for a quarter of century only to be dismantled long before remedying centuries of an American institutionalized apartheid regime. As a result, the time was cut short for blacks holding illustrious affirmative action positions and given way to promote a greater number Latino public/private sector outreach managers, who without trepidation see their role as nothing more than that of hiring additional Latinos, just as other cultures (Mormons, Jews, Irish, Italians, Asians…) have collectively progressed from their active peer-to-peer assistance before them.
Affirmative Action was struck down in its prime, not unlike young black males being killed in their prime amidst the unnecessary impoverished conditions designed by the shameful American system. Furthermore, it is extremely painful knowing that Affirmative Action was shattered, in part, by clandestine conflicts carried out by blacks high up in a variety of public/private sector organizations. Their unprincipled attitude of readdressing equal access for blacks was solidified by their exaggerated discourse that Affirmative Action produces an unfair outcome for others.
The fresh message resonating throughout urban America is ‘Black Lives Matter’ and this message would be ever so more effectual if it were also directed inward to black public/private sector business managers. Black managers must discontinue opting to embrace fairness at the expense of excluding the very people who have been exceedingly ill-treated. Black assistance is extending opportunities and the socioeconomic renegades should see how their work is part of institutional racism.
The philosophical gibberish spewed by black right wingers like Clarence Thomas – Ward Connerly – Allen West – Larry Elder – Pastor Manning have battled to neutralize affirmative action assistance. Likewise, black led churches have indoctrinated their parishioners to live life believing that all is well if you are personally blessed; giving rise to the “I’m blessed” era, which is no different than ‘get yours’, in lieu of helping others.
Still, based on every quality of living statistic from poverty, education, housing, health, to unemployment blacks occupy the least desirable level in contrast to Asians, Latinos, and Whites, thereby verifying a continued requirement for widening socioeconomic parity programs in America. The fact is Affirmative Action programs of the late 1960’s through the 1970’s generated highly replicated quality job/training processes.
In view of that, blind trust is sorely needed for many blacks in densely populated urban situations in order to have the ability to reach greater abundance derived from connecting to real opportunities. Society benefits from sharing information and extending opportunities to blacks, especially by influence black business managers, who will ultimately become the backbone for reducing/eliminating urban socioeconomic inconsistencies found in Ferguson, Oakland, Brooklyn, South LA, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Southside Chicago… Blacks can make it with a willingness of extending authentic opportunities, fulfilled on a level playing field.