Performance trumps color.
Last night I spoke at Morehouse College, which you may know his a historically black institution, so I wasn’t surprised when I got a thoughtful question from a student about yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling concerning Michigan’s ban on affirmative action.
Let’s make sure we understand a couple of things about affirmative action and quotas as it relates to this decision.
The Supreme Court let stand a ballot initiative approved by Michigan voters to ban race as a consideration in admissions to public colleges and universities.
They did not ban all efforts to reach out to minorities.
Affirmative action is many things, and quotas are only one element of affirmative action.
Taken as a whole, affirmative action simply means you look to do more than not discriminate, but rather you take affirmative steps to see that minorities get opportunities.
There are ways to do that without using quotas, and all the voters said when they passed this initiative was that racial preferences could not be among the tactics used.
This Supreme Court decision does not say you must consider race.
It also does not say you can’t consider race.
That’s how they left it. Each state can decide.
Now granted, some people aren’t going to attempt those positive efforts in the spirit in which they were intended, which is why sometimes governmental organizations or institutions resort to quotas.
But I think the better lesson comes from the private sector, where companies have demonstrated they are making positive efforts, not because they’re trying to fill a quota, but as I pointed out to the student at Morehouse last night, performance trumps color.
If you look at my own experience, it was my performance that trumped the color of my skin as I moved into Burger King to become a vice president and region general manager, and as the Pillsbury company was considering putting someone in charge of Godfathers’ Pizza which was a failing company.
I was not only the first black vice president and regional general manager within Burger King, I was the only black vice president and general manager within Burger King.
But that doesn’t mean they selected me for the Godfather’s assignment to fill a quota.
Companies who depend on the performance of their business units to make decisions for reasons like that. They were looking at someone who had turned a region around and had considerable management experience, and that’s why they selected me.
My performance trumped the color of my skin. That’s the way it works in corporate America.
Cain is from the private sector they were what made America Great
They fund the cost of the operation of this country.
Think about it TOT
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