WASHINGTON - Democratic party insiders today revealed that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) awards few contracts to companies controlled by racial minority groups, despite repeated pledges to increase business to such firms.
Instead Democratic leaders claim progress by leaning on a broader definition of "minority contractors" that includes white women, the disabled and the gay community, according to internal memos and emails obtained by The Huffington Post and corroborated by those insiders.
African American Democratic loyalists are reportedly frustrated with the party for failing to use its institutional finances to advance the cause of fair racial represenation in the lucrative business politics. "There is no more loyal group of voters to the DNC than black people, and yet they have done nothing to ensure that that constituency is able to participate fully in the economic benefits of party business," said a DNC member who spoke on the condition of anonymity, according to according to The Root.
DNC leaders say while they take such concerns seriously, having launched a broad review of the committee's hiring practices, they have been and remain committed to diversity, as does the broader party.
This strategy isn't new. Defining diversity in such a broad way allows companies, governments and organizations to get away with not hiring black-owned businesses. While blacks are at the forefront of leading the fight for diversity, often being scapegoated in the process, other groups are elevated financially and politically, while remaining silent about the lack of contracts awarded to people of color. The DNC convention will take place in Charlotte in 2012 where there is a strong, black-business community. Time will tell how many vendors of color will get contracts from the organization.