Guest Columnist - A. Bruce Crawley
A. Bruce Crawley | 11/9/2011, 1:11 p.m.
That was the one that mandated that all projects financed with federal funds "take affirmative action" to ensure that hiring and employment practices would be free of racial bias.
It's been 39 years since President Richard Nixon in his own Executive Order 11625 established the national Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) contracting program. In that same vein the 28 years since President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12432 mandating each federal agency with substantial procurement authority to establish an MBE development plan seem to have just flown by.
And wasn't it just July 1995 (seems like only yesterday) when Bill Clinton after a 4-1/2- month review of federal affirmative action programs and under extreme political pressure from right-wing conservatives gave an historic public endorsement of the program by encouraging the nation to "mend it, don't end it?"
My, how some things have changed.
We have a president who has consistently said to any media correspondent with a camera and microphone and to any Black person who has the courage to ask that he has no intention whatsoever of taking any action that would specifically correct years of economic disparities that still impact Black people and contribute directly to runaway Black unemployment levels.
Here's the question: If Mr. Obama doesn't want the responsibility, isn't there anyone else out there with the courage and skill set required to lead this nation in a fair, forceful and inclusive way?
Surely there must be at least one more capable person, who may also happen to be Black, in this country who wants to do the job.
A. Bruce Crawley is president and principal owner of Millennium 3 Management Inc.