TO A SELECT FEW:
WILFONG’S THOUGHT OF THE DAY: November 14, 2008
ISSUE STATEMENT NO. 3902: WAGING WAR AGAINST INJUSTICE TOWARDS SDBs
Never forget that 8(a) is our leading proponent, in leveling the playing field for firms owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. And remember this, 8(a) graduates, especially, need our attention. After all, the 8(a) Program was invented to prepare firms for” life after 8(a)”. Over the years folk seem to have forgotten that.
As a result of Wedtech, Adarand, and a few other things folk, seem to have forgotten about the struggle to effectuate the full and true involvement of minorities into the mainstream of business America. Look, we are pleased as punch about the election of the first African-American to the highest office in the land. That’s a huge, outstanding achievement. But, do not, for a minute think that we’re about to go into the Promise Land. Not, just yet.
We talked about the Wedtech case, in our Issuance yesterday. Today, let’s revisit The Supreme Court decision in Adarand Constructors vs. Pena (The Department of Transportation). That was the case decided in the mid-90s. The one that The Clinton Administration over-reacted to, and ended up almost destroying our Program(s) with that dumbheaded “Reform of the Federal MBE Program”.
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said in the Adarand Decision, “The unhappy persistence of both the practice and the lingering effects of racial discrimination against minority groups in this country is an unfortunate reality, and the government is not disqualified from acting in response to it.” That was in 1994, but the condition is still true today.
It would have pleased us more if Justice O’Connor had used that awareness, back in 1994, to find it in herself to vote for us, rather than just recognizing the fact, then throwing the ball back into someone else’s court. She left the door ajar, however. With that opening, our elected representatives could have kicked that door wide open. But, they didn’t.
Bottomline, here is where we are now. If we can’t show current effects of past and present discrimination, we can’t have setasides continued. If we can’t show significant numbers of qualified firms, owned and managed by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, ready, willing and able to step into the breach, we can’t have setasides continued.
If we do not have the ENFORCEMENT of the laws, however, we won’t have much of a program in the first place. We will grant you that if one cannot establish the “need” for a law, it will be “moot”. But, as long as the law is not being enforced, isn’t “the need” also moot?
Many have proposed that the “continued evidence of NEED”, is a cop out. The need, they say, has been established over and over. You don’t NEED a cause to enforce a law that’s already on the book. You just go ahead and enforce it. If someone disagrees with your enforcement or “interpretation” they can sue.
Well, Rothe sued. And, we got caught with our pants down.
Actually, though, you folk in Congress have the best of it all. You can push the hell out of the Administration. They’re the ones that get sued, not you. But, all too often, you give them a free ride. Then you “push” us, we SDBs, “to establish the need”.
Quit waiting for us, and do what you’re supposed to do. We blame us for not “pushing” you. We don’t intend to be guilty of that, not now. So, as far as NASDB is concerned-consider yourselves pushed..
Will this be talked about on The Wilfong Hour…YES IT WILL…
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