Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Minority Politicians Say: "Give us the Money!"

Last week the Houston Chronicle published an editorial from Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia, U.S. Representative Al Green, and the Reverand Bill Lawson. The message? We suspect Houston Metro won't give a fair share of contracts to minority owned businesses, so they better get their act together and make sure they dole out enough dollars our way.

The editorial stated: "We are concerned that recent actions by Metro signal a retreat from allowing minority businesses equality of opportunity....it is imperative that everyone, especially those that have traditionally been excluded from economic benefits, be included."

The authors fail to provide any description of these "recent actions". Apparently in today's political correct environment, all it takes is for a black or Hispanic to state "we suspect you guys want to discriminate against us, so you better funnel money our way", and Wham!, your opinion is published in the nation's 8th biggest newspaper.

The editorial simply states that minorities are "traditionally excluded" from opportunities, ignoring the fact that billions of dollars flow to minority owned businesses every year, simply because they are....minority owned. Perhaps the authors haven't heard of minority business set-asides. Perhaps they've missed the fact that a federal agency exists called the Minority Business Development Agency, whose sole purpose is to ensure dollars flow to minority owned businesses. There can be no denying that in today's world, minorities have a great advantage with respect to education and federal contracting, yet the authors have the nerve to state that minorities are excluded.

More importantly, have these activists ever heard of free markets? Do they honestly believe they need to preemptively cry victim in Houston's newspapers, and help their consituents win contracts just because of the color of their skin? We don't need a scolding from minority politicians to perpetuate institutionalized racism, we need to develop competitive businesses that earn public and private sector dollars based on performance, not pigment.

If these facts aren't concerning enough, consider the following:
  • Metro is designed to serve the inner city (presumably minority) populace with low cost transportation. So Metro's entire charter is geared towards serving minorities.
  • The proportion of black employees with Metro far exceeds the proportion of blacks in Metro's jurisdiction, so Metro is in fact going overboard to serve the minority community.
  • Metro recently announced that one of the new light rail lines will serve the Houston Gallery area. Even though the Gallery is a major resident and tourist destination, this has angered minority politicians because this rail line doesn't do enough to serve the minority community. Apparently, Metro must serve minorities at the exclusion of whites in order for these politicians to be happy.

    Of course, maybe I have this all wrong. Hispanics are now the majority race in Houston Metro's market. Perhaps Sylvia Garcia is really concerned about Metro money flowing to black and white owned businesses. And if you believe that...
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