Why So Many Organizations Stay White

WHY SO MANY ORGANIZATIONS STAY WHITE

Organizations are not race neutral. Scholars, managers, journalists, and many others routinely recognize “black capitalism,” “black banks,” and “ethnic restaurants,” yet we think of banks that are run by and serve whites simply as “banks” and white corporations simply as “businesses.”
This way of thinking reinforces the fallacy that only people of color have race, and obscures the broad, everyday dynamics of white racial power within organizations. Hiring for elusive notions of “fit,” locating operations in largely white communities, mandating dress and grooming rules rooted in European beauty standards, and expecting non-white employees to code-switch can all subtly disadvantage non-white employees. By leaving white organizations racially unmarked, it becomes difficult to explain why several decades of antidiscrimination and diversity policies ostensibly aimed at equalizing opportunity have done little to alter the overall distribution of organizational power and resources. Such organizational policies, while sometimes helpful in increasing minority representation, fail to address the racial hierarchies historically built into American organizations. Rather than asking how to bring diversity into the workplace, a better question is why so much power and organizational authority remain in white hands.

I argue that the idea of the race-neutral organization has done a great disservice to our understanding of race relations in the workplace, allowing scholars and practitioners to see racial exclusion as unfortunate aberrations or slight deviations from otherwise color-blind ideals. In reality (and even though we typically do not say this out loud), many mainstream American organizations have profited from and reinforced white dominance. Many still do. Understanding this context is vital to seeing organizations for what they really are: not meritocracies, but long-standing social structures built and managed to prioritize whiteness. Only then can leaders begin thinking differently about race — not as a temporary problem to solve or a box to check, but as a fundamental part of what it means to be a company in America. Only then can they have a better understanding of why their diversity efforts do so little to attract, retain, and promote people of color — and what they need to do to change that.

JUST HOW WHITE ARE ORGANIZATIONS?

The simplest way to think about organizational whiteness is through statistics. For example, black representation at the top of organizational hierarchies, as measured through CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, has decreased from six CEOs in 2012 to three today. Steady declines in minority representation at the helm of these businesses since their peak in the early and mid-2000s have led some scholars to claim that the “heyday” of dedicated diversity efforts has ended. University presidents remain mostly white (and male) despite rapidly diversifying student demographics, and academic hierarchies remain deeply stratified by race, with black men and women, respectively, making up just 2% of full-time professors above the rank of assistant. Black gains among public-sector employees — the economic sector responsible for much of the growth of the black middle class following the reforms of the civil rights era — have begun to disappear since the adoption of private-sector policies that have increased managerial discretion and loosened worker protections. A recent meta-analysis of field experiments — the gold standard for detecting discrimination, because other potentially explanatory factors are accounted for — shows that high levels of hiring discrimination against black men have remained relatively constant since the late 1980s, and discrimination against Latinos has decreased little. And despite some progress diversifying within individual firms, between-firm segregation has increased over the past 40 years and Fortune 500 boards remain 83.9% white.

Full Article and Source: Why So Many Organizations Stay White  

HBR

How Slavery Inspired Modern Business Management | Boston Review

 

The parallels between present-day business management practices and slavery have been persistently neglected in mainstream discussions about the history of U.S. enterprise.

The most striking parallel between slavery and scientific management can be found in the “task idea,” which Taylor described as “the most prominent single element in modern scientific management.” The task system is closely identified with Henry Laurence Gantt, who is well known today for the Gantt chart, a scheduling tool, which still bears his name. During the heyday of scientific management, Gantt developed a “task and bonus system,” which paired a flat task and a time wage with bonuses for overwork. Workers would be paid a base wage plus an additional piece rate for production above a certain minimum. By combining an achievable (rather than a maximal) task with bonuses, workers would enjoy the security of a minimum payment but also be encouraged to strive beyond it.

Economic growth can accompany choice, but it can also build on violence and injustice.

Yet while they introduced some novel details, neither Gantt nor Taylor created the task system. It has a much longer history and was one of the principal methods of organizing labor under slavery. Under the task system, an enslaved person would be assigned a set “task” or quota that he or she was expected to complete by the end of the day; this was in contrast to the gang system, where enslaved people labored under constant supervision for a set period of time. In some cases, slavers who used the task system even gave monetary bonuses for achievement above set targets. They “dangled the carrot” in a way that resembles not just Gantt’s methods but those of the gig economy today. Indeed, except for the base payment and the critically important ability for workers to quit, Gantt’s new system was in nearly every respect the same as the system used by some slaveholders, a fact that Gantt made no attempt to hide. Rather, he acknowledged that the word “task” was “disliked by many men” because of its connection to slavery, and he regarded this negative connotation as its “principal disadvantage.”

This is less surprising considering Gantt’s roots in the South. Born on the eve of the Civil War to a slaveholder in Maryland, Gantt’s father, Virgil Gantt, owned more than sixty men, women, and children. As Gantt wrote, “The term ‘task master’ is an old one in our language; it symbolizes the time, now happily passing away, when men were compelled to work, not for their own interests, but for those of some one else.” Gantt’s goal was not to abolish this old system but to adapt it to modern needs. As he explained, “The general policy of the past has been to drive, but the era of force must give way to that of knowledge, and the policy of the future will be to teach and to lead, to the advantage of all concerned.”

In a sense, scientific management replicated slavery’s extractive techniques while jettisoning the institution itself. Gantt’s rhetoric was not necessarily of distance but of progress; he purportedly liked to say that “scientific management marked a great step forward from slave labor.” James Mapes Dodge, a Philadelphia manufacturer and early supporter of Taylor, explained in 1913 that “we cannot tell who first liberated the germ idea of Scientific Management, as it was born to the world in the first cry of anguish that escaped the lips of the lashed slave.” Dodge’s reference was metaphorical, to a vague and distant past where slavery prevailed, not to the slave South. But he understood that “the present generation” had inherited “from the past the relationship of master and slave” and saw it as the job of scientific management to move beyond it.

Source: How Slavery Inspired Modern Business Management | Boston Review

How Brain Drain Contributes to Regional Inequality – CityLab

Across the United States, there are fewer states gaining brainpower than draining it, according to a new report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.

“Perhaps the biggest problem afflicting America is its widening geographic divide between the winners and losers of the knowledge economy. A raft of studies has documented the growing divergence between places based on their ability to attract, retain, and cluster highly educated and skilled workers and to develop high-tech startup companies.Talented and skilled Americans are the most likely to move by far. While the overall rate of mobility among Americans has declined over the past decade or so, still, between one-quarter and one-third of U.S. adults have moved within the previous five years, a higher rate of mobility than just about any other country on the globe. But behind this lies a tale of two migrations: the skilled and educated “mobile” on the one hand and the less educated “stuck” on the other.”

Source: How Brain Drain Contributes to Regional Inequality – CityLab

Baby Bonds: A Plan for Black/White Wealth Equality Conservatives Could Love?

Baby Bonds: A Plan for Black/White Wealth Equality Conservatives Could Love?

Darrick Hamilton calls for spreading the benefits of asset-ownership to all Americans.

 

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Black farmers were deliberately sold ‘fake seeds’ in scheme to steal their land: report

Black farmers were deliberately sold ‘fake seeds’ in scheme to steal their land: report

Black farmers in the Mid-South region surrounding Memphis used science to uncover a multi-million scheme to put them out of business and steal their farmland, WMC News reported Tuesday.

At the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show show in March of 2017, African-American farmers believe that Stine Seed Company purposefully sold them fake seeds.

Thomas Burrell, president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, explained how black farmers were receiving one-tenth of the yield as their white neighbors.

“Mother nature doesn’t discriminate,” Burrell said. “It doesn’t rain on white farms but not black farms. Insects don’t [only] attack black farmers’ land…why is it then that white farmers are buying Stine seed and their yield is 60, 70, 80, and 100 bushels of soybeans and black farmers who are using the exact same equipment with the exact same land, all of a sudden, your seeds are coming up 5, 6, and 7 bushels?”

The results were so stark, resulting in millions of dollars in losses, the farmers took their seeds for scientific testing by experts at Mississippi State University.

The tests revealed the black farmers had not been given the quality “certified” Stine seeds for which they had paid.

Burrell suggested a land grab was the ultimate motivation of the perpetrators.

“All we have to do is look at here: 80 years ago you had a million black farmers, today you have less than 5,000. These individuals didn’t buy 16 million acres of land, just to let is lay idle. The sons and daughters, the heirs of black farmers want to farm, just like the sons and daughters of white farmers.”

“So we have to acknowledge that racism is the motivation here,” Burrell concluded.

The farmers have filed a class-action lawsuit in United States District Court for the Western Division in Memphis.

A state legislator is also seeking an investigation into the scheme.

Tennessee Rep. G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) vowed state government would investigate “issues which have negatively impacted our black farmers.”

“We will explore the avenues — whether its civil, whether it’s criminal — dealing with fraud,” Rep. Hardaway vowed.

One farmer victimized, David Hall, explained why he had paid extra for high quality seeds.

“We bought nearly $90,000 worth of seed” Hall explained. “It’s been known to produce high yield, so you expect it, when you pay the money for it, to produce the high yields.”

The farmers “were effectively duped,” Burrell told WREG-TV. “It’s a double whammy for these farmers, it accelerates their demise and effectively it puts them out of business.”

“No matter much rain Mother Nature gives you, if the germination is zero the seed is impotent,” Burrell reminded.

Watch:

https://cdn2.trb.tv/iframe.html?ec=l1bHRwZjE6KOmV4BrvZctDofERl116ez&pbid=ffbcf8e010eb4c238d3dda4eb935d806&pcode=J5b3E62qXs0__5N6rt4w1q4FbPSD

Black Men In Chicago Are Taking Over Abandoned Property & Rebuilding The Neighborhood With The Youth By Creating Their Own Jobs – Ear Hustle 411

Black Men In Chicago Are Taking Over Abandoned Property & Rebuilding The Neighborhood With The Youth By Creating Their Own Jobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago, Illinois – Black men are demanding the city help them with the resources to help rebuild the community. These men are literally in the process of taking over abandoned property and training at risk youth to help fix up the properties that the city is trying to demolish.

Many of the properties are generally in pretty decent condition as far as the frame being solid brick and these men are saying they are not going to allow the city to tear down perfectly good homes.

A lot of the homes are boarded up and abandoned due to subprime lending where the Lenders/Bankers sucked the resources out of certain communities, left them in total disarray, foreclosed on the properties and resold many of them for pennies on the dollar to Hedge Fund Investors.

This happened by way if issuing Interest only mortgages where the borrower paid only the interest and no principal and when the term was up, they were forced to pay interest plus principle which the majority was unable to do therefore losing their properties while hedge fund investors bet against the people and walked away with tons of properties.

These investors slowly take over certain areas which are considered prime real estate and move the minorities out and gentrify the neighborhoods.

The men called on Alderman Michael Scott 24th Ward, Alderman  Jason Ervin 28th Ward,  and Alderman Walter Burnett 27th Ward and all the Aldermen across the city to help them make this happen.

The group said they are going all over the city and taking over the 20,000 properties that are sitting idle waiting to be torn down.

They then said that the people in the community want the buildings demolished however they don’t realize that for every building that is demolished, property taxes goes up.

The spokesperson Mark Carter said NHS, CIC and Globe Trotters organizations were supposed to help their parents and grandparents but instead they allowed the city to demolish their homes.

The men said the Mayor and Alderman sit back and watch these children get murdered in the communities and they refuse to sit back and do nothing about it.

He said they are demanding  the resources be given to them and they can rebuild themselves.

Check out the video:

 

VideoPlayer

 Photo Credit:  Mark Carter- Facebook

Source: Black Men In Chicago Are Taking Over Abandoned Property & Rebuilding The Neighborhood With The Youth By Creating Their Own Jobs – Ear Hustle 411

“The Case of IRP6” – OUR COMMON GROUND – Saturday, January 25, 2014

 “The Case of IRP6” 

IRP Solutions Corporation

How a business dream became a nightmare


Saturday, January 25, 2014

01-25 IRP6-3

Call In – Listen Line: 347-838-9852

       LISTEN LIVE

OUR GUESTS:   Cliff Stewart,  Sam Thurman, IRP Solutions Partners

Rose Banks and Ethel Lopez, A Just Cause for the IRP6

 According to a report prepared by Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director of Friends of Justice, “the IRP6”, owners of a company in Colorado that developed software for law enforcement, known as the “IPR6”,  Kendrick Barnes, Gary L. Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, David A. Zirpolo and David A. Banks, “. . . are six devout and dedicated executives serving hard time in a Colorado prison and their loved ones don’t understand why.  From the perspective of those who worked and worshiped with these men, the fingerprints of racial bias are clearly visible to the naked eye.” Bean further observes, “FBI agents and DOJ prosecutors never saw this (their prosecution) as a civil matter, a case of well-intentioned businessmen incurring business debt.  Instead, scores of federal officials concluded, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that this Colorado software development company had no prospects of success, no interest in success, and existed for the sole purpose of defrauding its business partners.

​This is a story about how prosecutorial tunnel vision created a tragic communication failure. ​The criminal justice system exists to give everyone a chance to tell their story. ​Juries decide who brings the best story to the table. ​Bad things happen when the system amplifies one story while silencing the other. (Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director, Friends of Justice).

irp6

The IRP6 case concerns this African-American company (IRP Solutions Corporation) in Colorado that developed criminal investigations software for federal, state and local law enforcement. The case of the IRP6 is currently under appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The men were convicted in 2011 after fighting the U.S. Government pro se at trial and have been incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado since the summer of 2012. The IRP6 sentences range from 7 to 11 years in federal prison for non-violent, non-drug-related charges. The IRP6 continue to maintain their innocence. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA)

According to IRP proprietary documentation, the company was actively engaged with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and was working toward a $12 million pilot project. IRP also provided pricing to DHS for their Confidential Informant module of nearly $100 million. Company documents and email communication show that Amy Kurland, Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General was in detailed talks with IRP. “Just one of these contracts would have resolved IRP’s debt issues, but due to interference the deals didn’t close, and they (IRP) were not allowed to go into detail in trial to show all of the facts,” says Thurman.

“When the case went to trial in the fall of 2011, the jury never learned that the federal government had repeatedly frustrated IRP’s attempts to conduct legal business,” writes Dr. Bean in his soon to be released narrative, “Money for nothing: how racial bias destroyed six lives, stymied a black owned business and outraged an entire congregation.”

Bean’s examination raises a critical question, “Why did the U.S. Attorney’s office criminalize a debt collection case?” He concludes that “the only justification is the bogus business theory: The IRP case departs from the typical failed-scam scenario for the simplest of reasons: the government’s case can’t stand up to scrutiny. The fraud alleged in the federal indictments is a mirage.” “The bogus business theory is bogus,” adds Bean.

“This case is troubling. We are seeking a congressional inquiry,” says Sam Thurman of Just Cause, a a volunteer organization that was established in 2005 by a group of concerned citizens who were witness to a federal criminal case that was grossly over-criminalized. “When justice can be blocked and people are not allowed to defend themselves by presenting solid evidence, the fairness that should exist in our legal system becomes like vapor; it vanishes.” Though court records show that an analysis was requested, in the end the analyst’s report showing the legitimacy of the business was ultimately denied.

Court records show that prior to commencement of trial, David Banks, Chief Operating Officer for IRP Solutions filed a pro se motion requesting that Judge Christine M. Arguello recuse herself due to her personal relationship with Holland and Hart attorney Greg Goldberg. On March 8, 2004, Greg Goldberg hand-delivered a letter to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kirsch requesting that IRP executives be criminally charged and articulated what statutes they should be prosecuted under. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA)

For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go tohttp://www.freetheirp6.org/ . For more information on the ongoing appeal or A Just Cause, contact Sam Thurman at (877) 573-5554 or visit http://www.a-justcause.com/.

The case of IRP Solutions (IRP6) is currently under appeal (US District Court for the District of Colorado, Honorable Christine M. Arguello, D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA; Case Nos: NO. 11-1487, Case Nos. 11-1488, 11-1489, 11-1490, 11-1491 and 11-1492). For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org/ . Appellant Court panel includes the Honorable Senior Judge Bobby R. Baldock, Honorable Judge Harris L. Hartz, and Honorable Judge Jerome A. Holmes

    OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham

 “Speaking Truth to Power and Ourselves” 

email: OCGinfo@ourcommonground.com

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