The REAL Argument for inclusion of Race-based Criteria, “Do you smell GAS?”

BACKGROUND: The following is an exchange that the 8-PAC Editor had on another Blog. The context is the controversy over race-based criteria being used in the award of local contracts:

Blogger (Tx B’s) wrote – “To award any contract based on someone’s race should be illegal, just as it MUST be illegal if someone is denied a contract based on their race.

I would like to hear an explanation of why you should get a contract over me, both our qualifications being equal, because you’re a minority. And don’t use that old in the past minorities were denied those contracts. Yes I admit that happened, but this is not the past and YOU were not the person effected.”


I would like to pose a rhetorical response to your question with the following; presuming you are a white-male owned firm; “Why should you continue to get contracts over me, both our qualifications being equal, simply because you have the luxury of institutionalized favoritism on your side”? And don’t use that old “I am a good ole’ boy” and we once had a monopoly on opportunities in the grand ole south. Yes I admit that happened, but this is not the past and YOU were not the good ole’ boy who benefited.

I hope you see how this sword cuts both ways.

Yet, you and I both know that despite this being a different time and space, there is a residual effect of yesterday; just like when you turn on the gas without a flame – wait a minute, and turn it off… you still smell the gas for an extended period even though you can’t see it.

I have had too many of white-male colleagues tell me that they know the game, how to benefit from the gas having been turned on – the ethers soaked into the fabric of society and the confidence of it being invisible and virtually undetectable… except the faint smell. You know what it is…

Tx Bs, I am a proud capitalist, and would like nothing better than to compete with you mono e mono; however, you and I both know that you don’t really want that. If by chance you REALLY do, then rally with me to get more minority firms into your good ole’ boy group, come team with me on the projects that you get by virtue of your legacy connections to rural Texas – and don’t just share your veggies, give me some meat! I will reciprocate and we can all eat.

But, let’s not insult each others’ intelligence by acting like we don’t smell gas in the room… you know what it is.

Rudy Sutherland | Entrepreneur & Small Business Evangelist


Q: What are your thoughts regarding “Race-based Criteria”?

1 comment
  1. Hank Wilfong Jr. said:

    Outstanding response Rudy.

    Too bad it will probably not convince your debater. Racism has an insidious effect. It affects the oppressed in ways they don’t realize. In addition it also affects the oppressor in ways they don’t realize.

    Those born as part of the privileged seldom realize they are so privileged. They get up each day and put on their outward vestiges of privilege. But, they also wear that which they don’t have to put on, without realizing it. And, so they become “accustomed” to it.

    Same, with the unprivileged. They seldom realize it, overtly. But, it is constantly on their minds, in their faces. Their outward vestiges are also put on. Their inward soul feels, and exhibits pain, through outward signs that are like “the smell of gas”.

    Institutional racism has done a number on both segments of our country. There are those who’ve benefited big-time from their privileged “past”, who will dispute the position that the tremendous “head start” their parents got, is the “onliest” reason they’re out front right now.

    You can talk until you’re blue in the face and you’ll never convince them…

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