Friday, July 3, 2009

Economically lynched one more time

Front page, Denver Post, by Miles Moffeit: "Colorado transportation officials are lagging behind their minority hiring target for federal stimulus projects, prompting a protest that has led to an internal review."

That's what happens when a Democratic state administration, Gov. Ritter's, forgets about the few obligations it has to minority-owned businesses in Colorado, and thinks it can get away with it.

"Since 2007," Moffeit's story continues, "the state highway department also has fallen short of its goal to distribute 12.8 percent of its federally financed road work to companies primarily owned by blacks, Latinos and other groups deemed disadvantaged, hitting about 10 percent."

That goal of the highway department is effectively Colorado's only obligation to minority-owned businesses in the state, thanks largely to the Owens' administration's neglect of disparity in minority-business contracting from 1999 through 2006, when Ritter was elected. But Ritter's economic development team has hardly tried to pick up any slack over the past three years.

And minority business owners throughout the state have, as a result, been the outlyers in feeling the effects of the business downturn that started in Colorado with the foreclosure crisis of 2007.

You haven't heard anybody complaining about that until now because many business owners who are ethnic minorities are as stoic as the next Republican about their lost free-market opportunities, and they simply don't cry a lot.

But the time has come to revive the voice of the minority business community in Colorado.

Herman Malone, my coauthor of "Lynched by Corporate America," which is Malone's story of racial discrimination in business contracting, has been a pioneer in making that voice heard through the last two decades. Our book is as good a textbook/case study of economic and business discrimination as has been written, even if I do say so myself.

Check it out at Herman's website,

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