The Chamber of Commerce is now “woke” to the fact its idiotic “CEOs For Racial Equality” has done far more damage in our community and to our reputation than good. In the first week the pledge that flat-out demands … “WE WILL continue our work by engaging in CEOs for Racial Equity meetings to address the issues of racism, injustice and bias in our organizations and community.” … has had only 2.62 percent of its 2,500 members sign the pledge and thus admit the Chattanooga community is a nest of systemic racists. Nothing could be further from the truth and the liberal Christy Gillenwater, the head of the Chamber who has lived among us for four years, is the last person to ask.
Undaunted by her obvious failure, Gillenwater held a ‘photo op’ Thursday morning in front of City Hall with those who have pledged “to educate ourselves and share the history of systemic racism in Chattanooga and Hamilton County.” Trust me, people are furious about being so unfairly labeled but Chamber Board chair Valoria Armstrong, a well-known activist, loves it.
So, get this: Mayor Tim Kelly tells the non-existent crowd, "I feel a fierce sense of urgency to create lasting change, from changing the systems and policies that keep some of our neighbors from reaching opportunity, to changing the narrative about the story we tell ourselves about poverty and economic mobility, and yes racism."
Racism? My boy Timmy should run off and hide.
Here’s a guy who has built Southern Power Honda Motorsports into the best Honda recreation store in America. Yet if you’ll look at the business’s website, and eyeball the great crowd responsible for its success, you will count 35 whites, three blacks, one Asian, and one other. Tim Kelly’s powersports team is the crème de la crème. Nobody – white, black, Hispanic -- is about to break up such a glittering line-up. Tim can talk, but he can’t do the walk. He knows best -- It’s all about business and nobody should fault the Mayor for his phenomenal success with those he adores.
Yet there are some who mandate Mayor Kelly should “replace” proven winners like warehouse manager BK Huddleston, IT systems coordinator Andrew Riggs, or the gorgeous controller Karen McCloud for someone less qualified who knows zilch about the business. Pledge or no pledge -- that ain’t happening.
Kelly said things Thursday that the survivor in him knows that if he had voiced in this spring’s election would have gotten him whipped but he now reveals his true stripe. “Equity' is not a political term and is simply an acknowledgement of the country's history.” Oh, my mercy.
The Unum Group’s CEO Rick McKinney stood on the City Hall steps. Rick makes right at $10 million a year, or a shade under $1 million a month. A rumor is being widely spread some big insurance companies will not hire a white male executive these days which is quite odd: the Unum Group’s Board of Directors includes six white males, four white females and one black male. Its Executive Officers are made up of six white males, three white females, and one male from India. Is this an exercise in gross stupidity or what!
There was Eric Fuller with US Xpress standing in solidarity when the US Xpress board has eight white males on its Board of Directors, three white males on its Operations Committee. No blacks. No women. Yet Eric just signed a pledge that vows “WE WILL use our influence and position to amplify unheard voices and support policies that lead to racial justice.” Racial Justice? Eric, there is universal justice, but ‘racial justice’ is a myth. Ask “Big Mac,” he’ll tell you about fairness for miscreants. Spend a day at the courthouse and the truth will prove itself.
When a company is trying to pick the winner in a field of five, don’t expect a CEO to bypass the most qualified on basis of color. Color has nothing to do with performance or, equally, ‘promise.’
So, here’s what I am going to promise you, if just 51 have taken the CEO Racist Pledge, there will be far more members quit rather that allow their companies to be labeled as systemic racists and refuse to apologize, via a demanding pledge, to anything otherwise.
In my mind, this is the Chamber of Commerce’s most disgusting day because it shamed and insulted the very people it has always vowed to enrich and to serve.