Kavanaugh vs. Ford
A tale of a complete lack of diversity causing bad decisions, and shifting opinions nationwide, as well as a teachable moment for corporate America.
Having zero diversity, and by trying to make it "Kavanaugh vs. Ford," the old, white Republican men lost control of the nomination, and made it about them versus all women, a situation that, at best, will be a Pyrrhic victory.
How did it happen?
Only Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is owning up to a clear recollection, and because she had the conviction to bring it forward, and because she's been viscously attacked by the minority directorate (old, white Republican men), she has become a credible person in the eyes of most Americans. I think this trend will increase as Senator Grassley is preventing the only witness from testifying, which, considering Brett Kavanaugh's classmate is a strident conservative, must mean his testimony would be destructive to the old men's plans for their Roe v. Wade assassin.
Most Americans now oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination, but the same polls show that most Americans believe he will be confirmed.
The difference in opinion between women and men, and Republicans and Democrats, is double digits, with most women believing Dr. Ford, and most men not believing her.
There's a lesson here for corporate leadership.
Most corporate executive committees look a lot like the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is 85 percent white and 80 percent male.
All of the women are on the side that's not in power (Democrats). The Committee is remarkably different than corporate America in only one way — the ranking members of both parties are bizarrely 85 years old.
The Judiciary Committee could not be more out of touch (including the Democrats). But the same can be said of many corporate executive committees, and I've met with dozens of them.
Being out of touch is exactly how the Republicans blew this situation. There is no way for them to "win" without withdrawing Kavanaugh until a thorough investigation is conducted.
Their (memories of) testosterone will not allow them to get there. You know they blew it when Senator Grassley negotiated with himself by changing his "deadline" to Dr. Ford.
It reminded me of CBS' board waffling over Les Moonves, or Papa John's board waiting for $300 million of the market cap to be erased in just 12 months before firing their CEO, John Schnatter, a guy so out of touch that he became beloved by Nazis.
Two important things to remember:
1. We (Black, Latino and progressive white Americans — the readers of this publication) are the majority. Professor Steve Phillips' book "Brown is the New White" describes exactly the demographics that make up our country.
Trump is a tragic error of the Electoral College; Hillary was probably the only Democrat that couldn't have won in 2016.
The problem is that we don't behave like the majority. If we did, the polls tell me there would already be Medicare for all, a livable minimum wage, and an end to government subsidies to large minimum-wage worker-dependent companies that exist because government programs like EIC, SNAP (food stamps) and Section 8 permit them to pay their employees so little. Especially so for companies whose essential frontline employees utilize taxpayer subsidies and whose products are unhealthy, like McDonald's.
Somebody please nudge Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and every Democrat over 65 — you have had your chance to serve the new majority, you didn't inspire enough of us to turn out in 2016, it's time for you to retire.
The same goes for corporate executive teams with lackluster employee engagement scores (and please don't point to those surveys designed not to give you bad news so that they can get their contracts renewed).
There are too many "leaders" who should be extras on an episode of "The Walking Dead."
2. Corporate leaders can avoid mistakes by talking with people and having open ears.
A CEO of an enormous company recently told me a story about how he changed a policy (he inherited) that had no real effect on business, but disproportionately (and in a way not obvious to the mostly male executive committee) disadvantaged Black women.
Fortunately for all involved, he had Black women around him — one direct report and several on his staff — and he is a genuine man.
He brought them together and, with his typical open and earnest demeanor, asked why this policy was a problem. The answers moved him to change the policy immediately.
Don't let your non-representative executive committee delude you. Unanimous concurrence among an all-white-male decision making team is not unusual. What is unusual is the chief executive realizing that such concurrence is almost certainly cause for concern.
P.S.: I wrote this column over the weekend, last night new allegations emerged concerning Kavanaugh. Much like Les Moonves, Bill Cosby, and John Schattner — it's almost never just one story.
At this point, there is absolutely no way for the White House to get out of this being a bad deal for them. The news was full of Kavanaugh being prepped all weekend, which was at the behest of the President Pussy Grabber, and his all-male White House staff; and those few women who put up with being a prop.
- Trump Attacks Kavanaugh Accuser: #WhyIDidntReport Goes Viral ›
- Kavanaugh faces MeToo: Accuser to Testify Before Senate ›
- Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford will testify in open ... ›
- GOP proposes Wednesday hearing to Brett Kavanaugh accuser ... ›
- Senators scramble ahead of Kavanaugh-Ford hearing - Axios ›
- Six rules for conducting the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings - The Boston ... ›
- Kavanaugh, Ford will testify in open hearing Thursday ›
"The Trump administration's cruel obsession with ridding our military of dedicated and capable service members because they happen to be transgender defies reason and cannot survive legal review," Jennifer Levi, of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, said.
"Largely, the individuals in the immigration courts and the ones getting their cases cancelled during the shutdown are on the lower end of the economic spectrum," said Alan Pollack, a New Jersey immigration attorney.
A report by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse says that the tally of canceled immigration hearings, currently almost 43,000 for the shutdown period, would likely grow by 20,000 for each additional week the government fails to reopen.
Or is a tyranny of old people and a lack of leadership skills, most importantly mentoring and sponsoring the next generation, open for criticism?
I received a comment from a reader on my last column.
Here's the gist of it:
"I did not tweet or post (your last column) because of the ageist comment/s made about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. I have no problem with them being criticized as lackluster, but not because of their age."
Here's my response:
"Here's the real crisis at the border: children are dying," writes DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti.
After watching the president conclusively prove he can read off a teleprompter, I struggled to stay awake as the 146-year-old couple (Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) robotically read through an uninspired response.
17 new Black female judges were sworn in and they're planning to change the system that has disproportionately criminalized people of color.
Black women made history in Harris County, Texas as they were elected as judges with aspirations to change the face (and reach) of justice.
"The people said it was time for a change," said Germaine Tanner, one of the women elected.
"We can lead here in Harris County. We can lead in the state of Texas," LaShawn Williams said.
"For black women particularly, we take a seat at the table and things change. For us in this situation it will change in terms of criminal justice reform, health care, these are the kinds of cases that will come before us and really impact our community."
Harris County now has a total of 19 Black women serving as judges — 17 are first timers and two ran for re-election.
On Jan. 1, Black Girl Magic happened and they were sworn in:
It's a brand new day in Harris County! Swearing in of the Newly Elected County Officials and Judges.
Today we usher in a new era of representative government and progressive leadership in Harris County. #ItAllStartsHere pic.twitter.com/oJpjK62X1L
— Harris Democrats (@harrisdemocrats) January 1, 2019
Who the judges are: Sandra Peake, Judge Ramona Franklin, Germaine Tanner, Angela Graves-Harrington, Cassandra Hollerman, Tonya Jones, Dedra Davis, LaShawn A. Williams, Latosha Lewis Payne, Linda M. Dunson, Toria J. Finch, Erica Hughes, Lucia G. Bates, Ronnisha Bowman, Michelle Moore, Sharon Burney, Shannon Baldwin and Lori Chambers Gray.
Harris County, Houston's home and the largest county in Texas, which has a 63 percent Black and Latino population, had the largest turn-out at the polls for midterms in the county's history.
There were some voting issues, as also recorded in states like Georgia and Florida, where technology issues resulted in a suit by Texas Civil Rights Project and Texas Organizing Project to keep polls open later, avoiding disenfranchisement.
Additionally, there were outright attempts to suppress the Black vote, including a Harris County poll worker who told a Black voter, "Maybe if I'd worn my blackface makeup today you could comprehend what I'm saying to you."
When the voter said she was going to call the police, the poll worker responded: "If you call the police, they're going to take you to jail and do something to you, because I'm white."
She was subsequently fired, and voters made their voices heard in an election that featured more Black women on Harris County's ballot than any other.
The newly elected judges will make decisions in the county, where 80 percent of the inmates are people of color.
Although judges are not the only ones at fault for racial disparities in sentencing, they can change the status quo. They set the tone in the courtroom and can make sure everyone gets a fair hearing.
"We talked about coming in and being more compassionate," Ms. Latosha Lewis Payne said of her newly elected colleagues.
"Being more understanding of the poor and disadvantaged that come into the judicial system."She added, "I hope that our election will usher in courts that ensure an equal opportunity for justice for all."
Reader Question: What issues do you think these women can tackle as a collective?
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Brian Kolfage created a GoFundMe page to build Trump's border wall.
Brian Kolfage, an Air Force veteran who lost his legs and right arm during his second deployment in Iraq in 2004, started a GoFundMe campaign to fund a border wall between the United States and Mexico.