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ICYMI: Herschel Walker criticizes minority-owned business designations while personally profiting from them [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
*** IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ***
A new report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reveals that Herschel Walker is criticizing minority-owned business designations on the campaign trail while at the same time personally profiting from them. According to Walker himself, his company benefits from being a certified minority-owned business. Despite this, “Walker has repeatedly bashed state and federal programs to support minority-owned firms”—even though Georgia has “has some of the most successful Black and minority-owned businesses in the country, in part, because of the minority-owned business designation.” See for yourself:
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Herschel Walker sends mixed messages on minority-owned businesses
By Shannon McCaffrey
August 25, 2022
- On the website for Herschel Walker’s food service company is a red seal: “Minority Business Enterprise.”
- Walker […] has made no secret of the fact that Renaissance Man Food Services is certified as a minority-owned business.
- The label is all over his company’s website and gives him access to certain grants and contracts.
- In a 2019 legal deposition he said it was crucial in helping his company win a profitable contract with food giant Sysco.
- “(T)hey gave me an opportunity to bid because I had been with Sysco for so long, and they were looking for a minority player to be there as well,” Walker said in the deposition, taken as part of a civil lawsuit.
- Walker said the deal was so good that, “if my dog, Cheerio, was there, he could have made a profit.”
- But on the campaign trail Walker has repeatedly bashed state and federal programs to support minority-owned firms, suggesting the regulations are burdensome and that the designation creates a barrier between Black businesses and white-owned companies.
- The minority-owned business program was created to help level the playing field for Black business owners, said Janelle Williams, principal adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- “It was an effort to end the impact of discriminatory practices that restricted access to credit and to capital,” she said.
- Melinda Sylvester, president and CEO of the Greater Georgia Black Chamber of Commerce, said the state has some of the most successful Black and minority-owned businesses in the country, in part, because of the minority-owned business designation.
- Walker’s website says he is Marriott’s 2016 Diversity Supplier of Year and the winner of the company’s International Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2014.
- But that didn’t square with what Walker had to say earlier this month at a Republican National Committee roundtable in College Park with Black business owners.
- “‘I didn’t want to be a Black-owned business,” Walker said. “I wanted to be a business.”
- Later on, though, he waffled when asked whether there was a need for a way to level the playing field for minority business owners.