No Crystal Stair

Twenty years ago tomorrow, the world, our world changed in a way it would never be the same again. Everyone (of a certain age) remembers where they were when the first or more aptly the second plane hit the The World Trade Center. After that, America lost some of its naivety and to cope with that we got the War on Terror, Islamophobia, TSA, and Homeland Security. Condoleezza Rice, however, writing in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal states that we are safer today than we were 20 years ago and this should be a moment of reflection and gratitude. So let us remember the lives lost, the heroes, and how this country came together in way it had never done before or since.

In other news, Biden has had enough. The President actually treated the American people like children who didn’t clean their rooms. He said “We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.” Yesterday, he ordered new federal vaccine requirements that will cover around 100 million Americans. He mandated that employers with more than 100 workers, workers at health facilities that receive federal funding, the executive branch and their contractors all be vaccinated. He also announced that the TSA will double fines on travelers who refuse to wear masks as there have been over 3,000 mask-related incidents reported to the FAA as of September 7, 2021. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the NFL opened its season, with full stadiums and no COVID protocols. And a Texas school district only implemented a mask mandate after two teachers died of COVID-19 in one week. Gotta love the U.S.A.!

So, if you are one of the unvaccinated, the walls might feel like they’re closing in, because they kinda are. But don’t fret, it could be worse; you could need an abortion in Texas. Meanwhile, the Justice Department filed suit against Texas over its abortion law focusing on what The Washington Post has called the “bounty hunter” element, or the power given to private citizens to enforce the law. I disagree with the term bounty hunters; maybe citizen militia or whack jobs would work better. Either way, the Justice Department is attempting something, and I for one will wish them luck.

Hey Ms .Carter

Two weeks ago Beyonce was being dragged for wearing the Tiffany “Blood” Diamond, a 128.54 carat yellow diamond discovered in South Africa in 1877. The history of that diamond is held as a prime example of white supremacy and colonialism. This week Tiffany announced they have teamed up with The Carters and Beyonce’s BeyGood organization to pledge $2 million dollars in scholarships to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In an announcement by the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, the About Love (the same name as the Carter’s Tiffany & Co campaign) Scholarship funds will be given to students at Lincoln University of PA in Pennsylvania, Norfolk State University in Virginia, Bennett College in North Carolina, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in Arkansas, and Central State University in Ohio.

LVMH purchased Tiffany & Co in January of this year for $15.8 billion. That’s billion with a “B.” Thus, a donation of $2 million spread across five HBCUs is not that impressive. Sorry, it’s just not. While, I understand that corporations will never fix race relations in this country; I do believe that they make statements with their hiring practices and where they spend their money. Not sure what Tiffany wanted the public to get from this. But, it is not likely they intended anyone to think this is a hollow jester and that they are not that into us. Last month, the Washington Post published an article that shows that while corporations are quick to pledge to be a “force for societal change and to fight racism and injustice;” they also find it difficult to donate directly to criminal justice issues like police reform, civil rights, or community investments.  The Post pointed out that while America’s 50 biggest companies have committed almost $50 million, collectively, since George Floyd’s murder, 90% of that is allocated for loans and investments that the companies will likely profit from. And I honestly, get that, because these are corporations we are talking about and they are in the business of making money. Nevertheless, only a small amount, around $70 million, went to organizations that focus on criminal justice reform.  My issue is when you say one thing and do another.

So, if your company’s commitment to racial justice is going to be through HBCUs because education is easy and no one will argue with donating to higher education, then make a real commitment. While yes, $2 million is something and for the students who receive the scholarships it will be everything. I think Tiffany & Co ( and all the other companies quick to issue a press release) should strive to be everything for a few more people or to make real change when trying to convince us how “woke” they are.  

Costly Emails

I don’t believe in Black Lives Matter. If anything I think they are the true racists trying to stir up things to make this country going [sic] to socialism or even communism potentially,” 

Veronica Wu, former VF Corp, board member, Axios: Board member who called BLM activists “true racists” leaves major apparel company

Above is part of an email sent by Veronica Wu, who stepped down this week from the board of VF Corp, a major clothing brand that includes North Face, Timberland and Supreme. While, she was on the board at VF corp, her “day job” at the time was as a managing partner at Hone Capital, a venture capital firm. In June 2020, She sent that email in response to a Hone Capital email stating the company would be recognizing Juneteenth as a company holiday.  She also stated in the email exchange with an office manager that she was “not particularly supportive” of the holiday. 

First, Juneteenth is not something you can or cannot be supportive of. It is American History. It happened and it is commemorated with a Holiday. It does not require your support to exist. Second, why do people say crazy things in emails? Seriously, why? Personally, I think it’s hubris and lack of consequences. For example, this is not Wu’s first offense at Hone Capital. According to one of the firm’s former employees, Wu also said  “’the reason you don’t see African Americans in tech is because they’re lazy and don’t work.”  By the way, Hone Capital also claims to have a zero tolerance policy for discrmination. But we can’t tell. Wu left Hone is August, but it is unclear why. 

It is also important to know that VF Corp knew about these emails, investigated it, found them credible, and then did nothing. She was not removed. She left when the emails became “Axois” public.