- Posted May 2, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
Industries that racially discriminate to block Blacks' success
A major complaint made by African Americans has always been that their hard work since their ancestors’ arrival in America has been dismissed and ignored. Yet they still have another issue of not having reached full representation in many of the nation’s leading industries. Still, more than forty years after the civil rights movement, African Americans’ level of representation in certain fields still lack high numbers.
Representation of Blacks in specific fields lag severely behind the general percentage of the general population. Although yes, many Blacks in America were raised by self-made accomplished men and women or in middle to upper class upbringings, it’s not the issue that many African Americans were raised in well-off lifestyles but whether how the actual gap is distributed compared to other groups. Indeed, fields such as Law, Medicine, and Business are just some staple fields very familiar to the African American community, and many Black parents across the nation raised their children with a high-standard lifestyle for their children from these very professions- but as mentioned previously it’s not about what is and was but the progression.
It’s not just about the actual successes and accomplishments, but instead about the progression. The hard work, successes and accomplishments are not just pieces to the past but rather a continuance. Part of the road to even more progress is working with hiring managers, to make certain they aren’t just hiring race and color in place of the right person.
Hiring managers should just hire the best qualified you say (and that’s even if you really believe it and not just saying it for the sake of being politically correct) but yes they should but they don’t nor do they have to. Hiring managers not having experience being around Black people may only be part of the problem which moves them in the direction of only hiring the familiar, and this practice has the power to hinder a specific group from being hired due to lack of faith in their abilities held by the opposing racial group.
There are various reasons why the American professional gap may be so unbalanced, and just a few reasons include flat out racism and ignorance. But let’s be real and honest, the American undertone is ‘each to its own’- which means ‘each race for itself’. Insulation is key for your own groups’ protection, security, and advancement. To keep the power for your own people, and to only make sure your own is protected and secure is a pretty plan to maintain it. Is it possibly natural within the human being to be selfish, well that’s part of it. Then the other part of it is control and power, then advancement- plus America’s past between Blacks and Whites never allowed for any sharing now did it?
This isn’t a secret, but there are quite enough individuals and groups (executive leaders, industry watchdogs, professional groups, and political organizations) that are “supposedly” determined to pressure hiring managers to hire correctly and not hire for the wrong reasons. Because this has been a long-going problem there have been policies implemented to help correct the issue, and one policy being Affirmative Action varies from country to country, but it means nothing when this gap is still widely apparent.
Science and Technology, Law, Teaching, Academia, College Athletics, Advertising, Construction, Media and Telecommunications, Health Care, and Fashion are industries many African Americans are highly irrelevant in. The group has been underrepresented in these fields for years now, but there has been an emphasis on rectifying the issue. But really, so-called rectifying ‘the issue’ is just rhetoric named more BS that’ll keep being fed to the people.
What’s missing is the high number of African American men teaching, making up only two percent of all educators. The education crisis of Black boys is the high drop-out rate and the test scores far below the national average. With many states in agreement that an increased number of Black male teachers would help out with exam scores and graduation rates amongst Black male students.
According to Black Enterprise, in 2005 the numbers of Black students enrolling in law school reached an all time record low. Although Blacks in America have historically fallen into fields such as law, that doesn’t matter now because in today’s world Blacks consistently failed to reach the most lucrative levels of the respected profession. Although there have been retention efforts keeping the rate of Black lawyers from leaving law firms before they can make partner low, these so-called retention efforts are obviously at a loss and broken.
So, okay, Blacks are acquiring PhDs at an astonishing rate. Who cares. The matter is Black persons with these highly impressive degrees are black-listed from not getting any jobs at the top levels. Wonder why you see that same old White male professor teaching,
(and the lack of White female professors also). The answer is that Black people account for over 16% of PhD receivers but account for fewer than 7% of all full professorships.
4. College Athletics
Do you even see an African American in college athletics besides players? Alright, so it may be a few, but African Americans are painfully under-represented in college athletics on every level- including coaching to program leadership positions. The problem becomes when time after time Black persons are purposely placed in areas that aren’t geared for progressing into higher directorship roles.
5. Science & Technology
Blacks in the STEM professions are like a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ cartoon, it’s hard to find. STEM, the acronym referring to science, technology, engineering, and math, somehow does not reach across the laps of many in this particular group. Could lack of quality for early education be the issue? Or might it have something to do with they somehow can magically never find educational funds to support predominantly Black schools, but can somehow in a hurry come up with new computers each semester for predominantly non-Black schools? Sure, the Black community has quite a history with going into engineering, but then what?
This industry is the worst offender, with the industry being more than 40% discriminatory towards Black people than the rest of any other industry. The end. There is no positive because today’s situation is way worse than it was even 30 years ago. Enjoy your chicken and watermelon ads in your own neighborhoods! Coming soon to a Black neighborhood near you, a person in Black Face enjoying other stereotypical foods, and drinks. (Stereotypical advertisement ads were at an all time high in the 1990s in America, in addition to the inner turmoil between Black Americans about certain Black advertising professionals not standing up for respectable advertising in the Black communities).
Ah, the old-boy network is present and in full effect in the construction industry. With such a heavily union-driven industry African American firms commonly are blocked from the bidding processes that would otherwise provide them with the largest of contracts, that their White counterparts seem to obtain for some supposedly lucky reason.
(Business Industry reveals similar practice)
8. Media & Telecommunications
Whatever area of media it may be, Blacks are highly under-represented at an alarming rate in every area of media. Do Black technology firms even receive adequate funding? No, the answer would be a solid no. Especially within the ranks of executive positions, Black people are hard to find, and that’s the harsh reality. It comes down to more and more Black people using Facebook more to find Black missing children, because as a community Black Americans know the media won’t fill this role.
African Americans don’t have a refined sense of style that can be sold to the people is the consensus, and not too much is being done to thwart that perception. As in any field the more a particular group is involved, the more negative perceptions may or can be challenged, but there’s a real need for more Blacks to enter into this field who’re of course truly passionate about it to push for a real change. And what makes it so flabbergasting is that many in the Black community are the biggest bank for the fashion industry, so go figure.
10. Health Care
Funny, since many Black people throughout the nation are familiar with many of their Black peers being from households of doctors (other prestigious fields as law, education, and engineering) but somehow the broader world doesn’t reflect this. While at 25% minorities make-up the U.S. population, but it’s only 10% of minorities in the health care field. Again, as they always say about every occupation or field that lacks diversity, attempts have been made to rectify the problem. More rhetoric to rectify absolutely nothing actually, but it does continuously improve depending on which perception you’re utilizing.