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.
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"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," Obama said, in jest. "I might even tap Sasha!"
We've never had a POTUS and FLOTUS like the Obama's before, and we've never had a Trump before. Two very different presidencies, one wrought with bigotry, racism and rampant white supremacy, and scandal, the other full of hope, unity and service. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama says we need to pay attention to who is qualified in the next presidential election.
"I implored people to focus and think about what it takes to be commander-in-chief," Obama told Robin Roberts in a "20/20" interview, in reference to women electing a misogynist in 2016 instead of a qualified female candidate.
She expressed the importance of voting, but went beyond that to describe the kind of person qualified to run this country.
"The commander in chief needs to have discipline, and read, and be knowledgeable. You need to know history, you need to be careful with your words," she said.
"I'm going to be looking to see who handles themselves and each other with dignity and respect so that by the time people get to the general (election), people aren't beat up and battered," the former first lady, who said she will not run for president, stressed.
"I think this (Democratic nomination) is open to any and everybody who has the courage to step up and serve."
She even joked that at this point, anyone is qualified to run for president —even her daughter.
"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," she said on Good Morning America "I might even tap (her younger daughter) Sasha!"
.@MichelleObama on whether Hillary Clinton should run for president in 2020: "I think at this point everybody is qualified and everybody should run. I might even tap Sasha!" https://t.co/E6lGKfK6oR pic.twitter.com/Axrvs7SDZQ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 13, 2018
Obama and her husband were about service before, during and after the presidency.
Candidates like Trump, drunk with power, have a past, present, and future that mirror that intoxication.
Coming off midterms there are questions about what to do next — investigations of Trump, what lessons did we learn articles, predictions of the 2020 election, but getting back to what a leader, a public servant of this country is supposed to do — lead by serving its people — is a message that voters can review candidate criteria with.
"It's amazing to me that we still have to tell people about the importance of voting," she said. "People have to be educated, they have to be focused on the issues and they have to go to the polls if they want their politics to reflect their values."
Obama explained, "Where I'm at right now is that we should see anybody who feels the passion to get in this race, we need them in there. Let's see who wants to roll up their sleeves and get in the race. That's what the primary process is for."
In looking at Trump's record, most of his decisions have been made to serve himself. His record of cheating employees out of money, not paying taxes, discriminating against Blacks in terms of who could claim residency in his buildings, misogynistic comments, scandals around payoffs for affairs — none of it shows signs of service.
Obama writes in her new memoir "Becoming" how Trump's division and bigoted messaging tactics to garner a movement to propel his campaign impacted her own family's safety:
"The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."
In current times, his decisions in the White House usually involve a lot of divisive words to spark attention from white supremacists, "look what I did" moments on twitter for validation, and little about what the country needs, but instead what the country should be afraid of.
And that is not why you get the job in the first place.
Identity Evropa leader, whose group believes in returning people of color back to native homelands, posts tour photos. Meanwhile, Trump calls Black reporter's white nationalism question "racist."
Patrick Casey, leader of alt-right white nationalist group, Identity Evropa, and Charlottesville marcher, posted a visit to the White House on social media this week:
Evropa has landed at the White House! pic.twitter.com/nlExBhNP4V
— Patrick Casey (@PatrickCaseyIE) November 7, 2018
"The American public was more likely to elect a person of color to the House than House members were to hire top staff of color," according to a Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies report.
As a result of Tuesday's midterm elections, Democrats have won a majority in the House of Representatives, and Republicans will remain in control of the Senate, but Congress, as a whole, needs to make diversity a priority when it comes to hiring top staff members.
The hater-in-chief, elected by a minority of Americans, eliminates any cover for his supporters. Fair warning: after last week, you're either a hater, or you're not.
Social media users call out the couple for racist and tone-deaf photos.
John Milton and his wife bragged about their wedding photoshoot consisting of being held at gunpoint atop a volcano, saying their vows "while a civil war is brewing," "cruising" through a ghetto, and carrying "Blood diamonds" and an AK47.
Milton, a former investment banker turned travel photographer, had the wedding photos featured under the title "Outside the Box Congo Wedding Shoot with the Leica M10." On Instagram the couple said, they "wanted to make sure we didn't have the typical goofy wedding shots."
"After the Congo wedding we needed an epic honeymoon," Milton said of his photos. "Therefore we decided upon a daring adventure in an Islamic region of Africa where sadly enough modern-day slavery still exists."
Because you care? Using Black people's experience as a way to display this notion that you care and can't possibly be racist, while being completely tone-deaf to the exploitation you are committing IS RACIST.
Perspective: Trump does it all the time by carefully placing behind him at rallies Latinos and Blacks, and white women, too. (And even once being astonished on stage when he met a Latino border patrol agents who speaks English well.) So there's your comrade, Milton. Trump. Let that sink in.
Social media brought this eurocentrism to light. Milton took down his social media account soon after.
Of course anyone with sense is condemning it, but one special lady:
Ok, so the new rule is No Black People in Expressive Art. Cool.
— Celine zoppelt (@CZoppelt) October 26, 2018
She must agree with Milton's view of himself and his art.
In his 2016 interview, he claimed his first career was a bit too vain:
"Being an investment banker usually means you become quite self-absorbed. Photography allows me to get away from "me" and concentrate on the world around me."
He also said, "Upon my retirement I realized I am still young enough (45) to start leading an impactful and adventurous life. I've seen too many successful people around me who are not enjoying their wealth, not really living (working too hard, not playing hard enough)."
Others who saw Milton's art aren't racist:
Imagine the level of ignorance it takes to bring your white ass to DR Congo and stage a wedding shoot using black folks, civil war, and poverty as props. pic.twitter.com/VqMueqaZrJ
— Justin McC (@JD_Mccarroll) October 23, 2018
Thank you for making such a comment, #JohnMilton a such hypocrite, he come to Congo taking pictures and making people to think he cares so much about the people of Congo. Using the pain and the struggle of Congo people in the picture to have a fun on her wedding.
— Dr. Flavien Shirandi.,PhD (@Talkshirandi) October 26, 2018
The Trump administration proposes that government agencies should define sex as "a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth."
#WontBeErased hashtag erupted hours after The New York Times reported the Trump administration's push via a memo for a new legal definition of gender, which would essentially eradicate the estimated 1.4 million Americans who identify as a different gender than the one assigned assigned at birth.
Instead of hiring a diversity and inclusion specialist to address diversity issues, they chose to hire mental health professionals and white-led university consultants.
After a report was released detailing racist incidents in the Haverford, Pa., school district and town, leadership in one of the most affluent regions in the country, with a predominantly white population, decided that diversity is not a priority.
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