To those of you who may not recall Charlie McCarthy, allow me to explain. It was the most famous dummy in the world, the ventriloquist was Edgar Bergen, and they performed before presidents and kings and queens throughout Europe. It goes without saying the ventriloquist was a White man and that is a factor in this column.
I have had dozens of conversations with Black businesspeople, and they have repeatedly complained about the unbelievable and insensitive attitude displayed by Blacks who occupy positions generally in charge of diversity. The meetings with these colored persons are overwhelmingly nonproductive and if you close your eyes you would think you were talking to a Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen. A White man with no sense of understanding or concern is the ventriloquist.
I have personally engaged in numerous conversations with those who occupy positions within the corporate community and their alleged responsibility is to help Blacks and women and I have found in most situations they truly believe they are an integral part of the good old boys system.
In a meeting last year a person with the title of vice president not only talked down to me, but also had the attitude that they were a house Negro and I was an ordinary field hand. At the conclusion of the meeting I simply informed the colored official that as soon as I was able to get to my computer I would send the CEO of the corporation a message congratulating him on the hiring of such a person, because they truly epitomize “The spook that sits by the door.”
It is understandable that these Charlie McCarthys have made sacrifices to attend colleges, obtain high paying jobs, move to affluent neighborhoods, join country clubs, etc., but they lack a sense of integrity, race consciousness and fail to understand that they would not be in their positions if it were not for a vast number of unsung heroes. They must grow to understand that they can’t continue to echo what they believe their White employers would say if they were holding the meetings, but reach down inside themselves and become innovative and challenging thereby being a proud Black person, making their family proud gaining self-respect, and respect from those they work with and for.
They are not expected to lose their job, membership at the golf club or any of the other newfound benefits that go with the job. However the most important factor in their life must become their ability to look in the mirror and become proud of what they see.
Kingsley Association really could use your support.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)