Members of the S.C. Legislative Black Caucus (LBC) are pressing Gov. Nikki Haley for a meeting.
Led by State Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston), these LBC members want assurances from Haley that her economic development efforts will not disproportionately benefit white South Carolinians – while her proposed government “cuts” do not disproportionately hurt black South Carolinians.
In a letter sent to Haley last Friday, Ford says he wants the governor to “encourage businesses to promote equitable job opportunities to afford African-Americans the opportunity to be hired in professional level positions based on their education, experience and job qualification.”
He also encourages her to make sure that “cuts that result in the loss of jobs are equitable across the board for black and white employees alike.”
Haley, who is Indian-American, has been criticized by the mainstream media for a perceived lack of diversity in her gubernatorial appointments – most notably the fact that she named just one African-American to her cabinet (and named her to an agency she has proposed eliminating, no less).
Ford and other LBC members are worried that Haley’s lily-white appointments could presage a lack of concern for the plight of African-Americans in the Palmetto state – concerns we do not share.
First, America is post-racial – as evidenced by the election of a black (or half-black) president. Second, gubernatorial appointments are just that – gubernatorial – meaning that the governor gets to make them and everybody else gets to “like it or not.”
Third, there are no “budget cuts.” In fact, the budget which passed the S.C. House of Representatives earlier this month totaled $21.7 billion – a new state record.