WASHINGTON - The National Black Church Initiative, with over 100,000 churches in its coalition, today announced it is aiming its big guns against government contractors who discriminate against blacks. The 15.7 million member black church group is accusing DynCorp International of blatant racial discrimination, especially the company's dismissal of Reginald Bailey and Walter Gray, co founders of Worldwide Network Services (WWNS).
WWNS was the victim of racial discrimination at the hands of their contracting partner, DynCorp International. DynCorp was found guilty by an all white jury of racial discrimination.
Other charges DynCorp was found guilty of was violating US Code 42 U.S.C. 1981, which prohibits discrimination in contracting. DynCorp was also found guilty racially motivated violations which include the malicious and wrongful termination of the WWNS subcontract with DynCorp; the subsequent illegal recruitment of WWNS employees; the unilateral refusal to pay WWNS invoices without cause; the interference with WWNS' ability to operate within the scope of the contract; and the tortious interference of WWNS ability to secure pending contracts outside of DynCorp.
These atrocious actions were not followed by an apology or any other form of acceptable remuneration. On the contrary, this racial discrimination was celebrated. At a company dinner party DynCorp executives celebrated the destruction of WWNS with t-shirts that read "I took down WWNS and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" and read - in Ebonics - a fake letter purporting to be from WWNS co-founder Gray. A guest at this party later testified that during the reading of this letter that DynCorp leadership was "laughing their ass off".
Luckily for WWNS, the federal court system did not find DynCorp's actions so hilarious.
However, despite the fact that the justice system has adjudicated this case - no court system could ever make WWNS whole. The business that WWNS co-owners Bailey and Gray spent 13 years building was destroyed due to egregious racial discrimination and a prolonged court battle, while DynCorp - the perpetrator - continues to win government contracts and prosper. It is equally disturbing to know that even after a clear conviction; privately held Cerberus Capital acquired DynCorp in an estimated $1.6 billion dollar deal - compensating DynCorp leadership, employees, and shareholders with a profit windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars.
It seems that the repercussions of DynCorp's racial discrimination are truly never ending. One particular ongoing matter of supreme import to the American public is that Cerberus, whose chairmen include former Vice President Dan Quayle and former Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow, utilized state pension funds for a significant portion of the capital utilized to acquire WWNS. State pension funds, which represent at least 30% African American participation, have a clear charter against investing in entities that have been found guilty of racial discrimination. The investment of state pension funds in Cerberus represents an egregious management of public funds.
This mismanagement is more insidious than mere oversight - in public documents it is evident that DynCorp failed to properly disclose the severity of their case with WWNS to the public. DynCorp is required by law to reveal any pending, current, or prior litigation and it fails to do this. With DynCorp's racial discrimination history a matter of public record, it is important for Cerberus to be held responsible for its share in perpetuating its subsidiary's illegal and immoral acts.
Despite all of the chips stacked against WWNS, they are fortunate to have strong advocates. Rev. Jesse Jackson has been a staunch supporter - writing several letters on behalf of WWNS to Cerberus Chairmen John Snow and Dan Quayle in an effort to better align Cerberus' good reputation with their current business dealings and right this wrong with WWNS.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also heard WWNS' story and, while she was unable at the time to comment on continued legislation, she did release a forceful promise to maintain the integrity of the Department of State and protect its contractors.
Secretary Clinton firmly stated, "You know where I stand on discrimination: I will not tolerate it. After reviewing the court record I want to assure you that I have set a very high bar for professional conduct by the Department's employees and those working under contract to the Department, and we will enforce that standard. Finally, this Department under my authority will continue to operate at the highest standard of public service, which the American people expect and our commitment to the public interest demands."
"The Church remains a staunch supporter of equality and believes equality defines the American spirit and embodies the very best of what our nation represents. When we allow racial discrimination to benefit the perpetrators and harm the victims, as it was in this case, our justice system is perverted and the values we hold so dear as Americans are forever tarnished. Therefore, NBCI, in collaboration with the black religious leadership nationwide, will use the full force of the African American church and the power of our combined 100,000 churches to launch a thunderous public protest with no limits against the responsible parties utilizing the moral authority of the Church and the power of the national faith-based community."
Rev. Anthony Evans, President of NBCI says, "The WWNS case strikes at the heart of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus did not die for the rich to become richer - he died for us all to have salvation and discrimination goes against the fabric of our Biblical teachings. I am committed to using the full force of our 100,000 African American churches to bring justice and parity to this worthy organization. I have cleared our calendar to assure that this case is our number one priority in 2011. If DynCorp and Cerberus want a public fight - we are ready for it."
Chairmen Snow and Quayle, along with the Cerberus leadership, have the power to make this right. We are optimistic that by rallying our congregations - evoking the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement - the public support we garner will tip the scales to achieve the justice that WWNS so richly deserves. As February is National Black History Month - we will stage a news conference to publicize WWNS' story as these dark incidents of racism can no longer remain silent. NBCI, along with 100 African American ministers, will highlight the injustices committed against WWNS on the steps of Cerberus' headquarters.
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 African American and Latino churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI's mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public. The National Black Church Initiative's methodology is utilizing faith and sound health science. The National Black Church Initiative's purpose is to partner with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI's programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work.