The problem plaguing both is simple, yet not open for discussion or debate.
Now, a Black Alderman in Chicago reminds us once again of the terrible of Black-Run America (BRA), with the Chicago Sun-Times reporting:
An influential alderman warned Metra’s executive director on Thursday that “people are going to get hurt” if the commuter rail agency fails to bolster minority participation on a $133 million South Side railroad bridge known as the “Englewood Flyover.”Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, did not explain who he believed would “get hurt” or who the perpetrators might be. But, he was clearly referring to civil disobedience or maybe even violence at the construction site.
Where did all this start? This demand that a certain percentage of contracting jobs go to the Blacks? Well, once again you realize that there is no such thing as a "free market" in America, but the manipulation of capitalism to enrich those whose melanin levels are enriched to the correct hue. From a 1985 article in the Orlando Sentinel titled In Atlanta, Minority Roles Yield Mainstream Gains:“I’m trying to help you help yourself. When I say that, problems could arise. When you look at a community like Englewood [that] is challenged and you have over $1 billion of work coming through and there’s no people of color working on that project, I’m afraid people are going to get hurt,” Beale told Clifford during Thursday’s committee hearing.
“When you look at the make-up of the community — when you look at the unemployment rate … in that particular community, it’s probably 35, almost 40 percent. … To have a contract come like this in the African-American community with less than one percent minority participation is an insult.”
Eleven years ago, Tom Cordy borrowed some money to start a residential heating and air-conditioning firm. For the first few years, his family lived off his wife`s salary and Cordy pumped every dollar he earned back into his business.
Today, Cordy`s firm is installing a fueling system at Chicago`s O`Hare Airport and working on Coca-Cola`s expanded Atlanta headquarters. He is on the boards of Cox Enterprises, First Georgia Bank, Southern Bell and Kimberly- Clark.
This Horatio Alger story may not have been possible, Cordy says, without the existence of minority-participation programs, in which a certain percentage of construction money is set aside for minority-owned firms.
The City of Atlanta`s program, one of the nation`s largest, has opened otherwise closed doors for hundreds of minority businessmen like Cordy and served as a model for other cities.
``Right now, the airlines select us not because we`re a minority firm but because we`re good,`` said Cordy, owner of AMC Mechanical Contractors Inc., of Atlanta.
``It`s the chicken and the egg predicament. You`ve got to have the opportunity before you can develop a track record. It`s just like (when) you go to apply for a job and they say, `We just look for people with experience.` ``
The $400 million expansion of Atlanta`s airport gave Cordy his first shot at building fueling systems. O`Hare will be his fifth such project.
The airport project also proved a test for the city`s set-aside program for minority firms. Maynard Jackson, who became Atlanta`s first black mayor in 1974, mandated that 25 percent of all city contracts would go to minority- owned businesses. When white contractors balked, Jackson held up airport construction until they complied.
``I heard we carried the affirmative action standards for the (Federal Aviation Administration) for the whole country,`` says John Matthews, deputy director of the city`s economic development office, with a chuckle.
Since then, the city`s policy has by and large been a success story. The standard has been raised to 35 percent, and several major corporations located in the city have implemented similar programs.
It has become a matter of pride for Atlanta, which calls itself ``The City Too Busy To Hate.``
``It`s getting to a point now that nobody even bats an eyelash,`` said Matthews, who negotiates with companies for minority participation. ``As a matter of fact, most of the developers I talk with -- and we`re talking about projects ranging from $500,000 to $10 million -- they say, `Oh, yes, we all agree with that,` and off we go.``
In 1973, the city signed less than 1 percent of its contracts with minority- owned firms for a dollar value of $42,000. In 1984, the figures were up to 30.7 percent and $12 million. More than 400 firms have received certification as minority-owned or bona fide joint ventures between white and black businesses.
MARTA, the city`s mass-transit operation, has had a policy of minority participation since 1971. Sixteen percent of its $2 billion rapid-rail construction has gone to minority-owned firms, and MARTA`s current standard calls for 20 percent participation.
The transit authority was the first in the country to require minority participation in the manufacture of buses and rail cars and has sought minority-owned suppliers for communications and signalling equipment.
The authority included a commitment to equal opportunity in its campaign for an additional 1 percent sales tax to help finance MARTA, said John Schadl, assistant to MARTA`s general manager.
``That translated into a very strong minority business commitment,`` he said. And support from black voters in the approval of the tax.
Fulton and DeKalb counties, in which the city is located, have standards of 20 percent and 15 percent minority involvement, respectively.
Coca-Cola Co., based in Atlanta, also has maintained a minority-participation program since 1981. Its current $100 million expansion project includes 35 percent involvement from minority firms. The company also has worked with more than 1,200 minority suppliers in its divisions, including purchasing, banking, advertising, bottling franchises and wholesaling.Affirmative action programs should have had their last stand in Atlanta, but somehow they survived. They morphed into simple extortion.