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I was talking to a young African-American man a couple of months ago who was moving up in corporate America. He shared how everybody thought he had gotten his engineering job through affirmative action, when, in fact, he had scored the highest of all the applicants.

It reminded me of my short stint in corporate America, but also of a subsequent conversation I had when I was appointed to a prestigious financial advisory group some years ago. I had come in early. The chairperson of the board, a banker, was already there. He says, “Most people on this committee have a financial or real estate development background. I’m curious as to how you got chosen for this committee.”

So, I ask, “You’ve had this conversation with anybody else on the committee?”


“Oh. So, you know everybody else’s background on the committee except mine?”

“Not everybody’s.”

“Have you read my resume?”

He says, “No.”

“Then, you don’t know that I have a master’s degree in Urban Studies.”


“And, so, you probably don’t know that I own a commercial and industrial real estate appraisal firm that does work for some of the largest banks in the state.”


That I’ve taught commercial real estate appraising throughout the United States, Jamaica, and the Bahamas?”


That I’ve completed market studies and feasibility studies for real estate ventures?”

“’Really? No. I did not.”

So, I ask, “Are you a Republican?”

He says, “Yes. How did you know?”

SMFH before SMFH became an acronym.So Image

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