Lost in the “diversity” workforce, where are African American employees in local public schools and governments? How many local high school and college graduates have had an African American teacher contribute to their formal education — not as aides, assistant coaches and playground monitors, and not as civic board members and community volunteers?
Are we creating, or have we created, a Tri-City culture of black insignificance?
Black History Month, Martin Luther King holiday and the Black Workers at Hanford Project provide fleeting remembrances of black people’s past and meaningful presence in the region.
Federal contractors at Hanford sporadically recruit and employ black people to meet affirmative-action requirements. However, too often the nature and isolation of their employment don’t allow for the community visibility and involvement being discussed.
Locally and nationally, white women have been the major beneficiaries of affirmative action programs, including 8A set-asides (federald small business program), that resulted from the Civil Rights movement. Similarly, new immigrants and refugees are major beneficiaries of the black struggle when paradoxically, black people themselves are not.
Why is this? What’s sinister about it?
Sidney Wilheim’s book, “Who Needs the Negro”, offers noteworthy insights that are useful when envisioning race-relations in the year 2040, when the majority becomes a minority.
Dallas E. Barnes, Pasco