Tuesday, March 30, 2010

THE BLACK TIME WARP

 Is there some wierd time warp for African Americans? Can a people that have accomplished so much in 50 years still face intense hatred and discrimination. Well, the month of March 2010 has been a confusing mess.


A Black President pases landmark legislation while a Black Congressman is call Nigger to his face while walking into the United States Capital. My African American business  friends lack acces to capital and funding while bussinemen and bankers of other races are rewarded for failure. 

I try to believe that people are people and discrimination is a relic of a past society, but then something likes this crosses my desk and the Anger comes back.  


SBA Could Stand Trial in Racial Discrimination Suit
Federal Judge Ruling Exposes SBA’s Biased Practices
Towards Minorities Seeking Capital

WASHINGTON, DC – On March 29, 2010, District Court Judge Kessler, ruled against SBA’s attempt to dismiss Diamond Ventures, LLC’s (Diamond) landmark lawsuit against the Small Business Administration (SBA), setting the stage for SBA to stand trial for discriminatory practices in its Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program. See case # 03-1449 Diamond Ventures, LLC V Hector Baretto and the United States Small Business Association (District Court of District of Columbia).

The judge’s ruling marks a critical milestone in the suit between the SBA and Diamond. Judge Kessler found credible testimony and reports that the program had only .86% (two persons) of the 350 licensed managers in the program who were African-American managers, that SBA’s own statistics show Black-Owned firms received just 2.55% of SBA approved financings, that .49% of all SBA dollars were to Black-Owned firms illustrating that SBA’s policies for decades have had a disparate discriminatory impact on Blacks and minorities.

“The judge’s ruling opens the door to providing funding to minority and women owned businesses. It will also open doors for other minority and women owned businesses to gain necessary access to capital, as managers with proven skills are approved to participate in the $5 Billion a year program” says C. Earl Peek, Managing Partner of Diamond Ventures, LLC. Industry experts note that the ruling will be helpful to the President and Congress as they grapple with ways to deploy capital to create jobs in underserved communities in the tough economy.

This monumental case against the SBA began in 2003 after Diamond managers applied to and was rejected from the New Markets Venture Capital (NMVC) program and the SBIC program. Court records show that SBA had concealed that Diamond was approved for the NMVC program a year earlier. Judge Kessler also noted that during the lawsuit, “it was also discovered that the Report of the SBA Inspector General, issued March 20, 2003, concluded that ‘the Division’s evaluation of the application [of Diamond] and the decision to deny were not accomplished in accordance with the existing SBA procedures and criteria.” See the full court opinion at www.dcd.uscourts.gov, https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/Opinions.pl?2010 or www.sbalitigation.com


The part that really hurts is that I  suggested  to the Obama Administration that  the SBA is part of the solution for re energizing the economy. 
My suggetions for higer loan limits and reduced fees were accepted and implemented. My next suggestion is a total clean house effort to reduce loan bias against minority borrowers.
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