Posts Tagged ‘black men’

Hire A Hooker! Or Felons, Black Men and Employment Opportunities

help wantedI heard two news  stories recently and they won’t leave me alone. Both were about the job market but with different messages.

Apparently, if you fall into one of two categories it’s almost impossible to get a job.

1. If you have a felony record.

2. If you are black.

I’m very white and I’ve never been to prison but I’ve got lots of friends and family members who fall into one or both  categories.

According to an NPR story three out of four business require a back ground check and if you have a felony conviction they don’t even consider you for a job. It doesn’t matter how minor the offense, how long ago you screwed up, how qualified you are for the job or or if you payed your debt to society.

So  a woman who is arrested for prostitution or having a small amount of pot when she”s 19 still can’t get a job in most restaurants as a dish washer when she’s 30. Then we complain when she is forced to go on Welfare in order to talk care of her kids.

Obviously,  a woman who steals stuff shouldn’t get a job in a bank and a man with a sexual assault on his record shouldn’t work in a school. But I feel confident in saying….a former prostitute should be allowed to work as an electrician, bank teller, nurse etc. if she has the aptitude and training.  For the most part I really don’t care what my dental hygienist, radio dj or jewelry sales person did ten years ago. There are exceptions…I don’t want a plumber who is a mass murderer.

I recently saw a sad case of discrimination here in town. A local contractor needed an office manager. A man I  knew who had twenty years experience in that exact field applied.  He had great references. The company interviewed him twice and liked him very much.  They offered him the job.  Then the back ground check came back.  Five years earlier he was convicted of trying to have sex with a 17 year old girl. He served his prison sentence, he was punished for his crime. His wife stayed with him, he had two kids in college. Still, once the contractor found out about his crime the job offer was withdrawn.

Of course there are exceptions and some criminals should be punished fore ever and ever and ever. But for the most part I don’t think that’s right. When does his punishment end?

The only people who have a harder time getting a job than felons, according to CNN reports are…. black men. A black man WITH NO CRIMINAL RECORD is even less likely to be hired than a white guy with a record. That’s ridiculous and what I really want to know is….why is there even a question about race on  job applications?  If race isn’t supposed to be a factor in employment why ask if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian etc?

I just don’t understand. I know it’s wrong and I know something needs to be done…but I’m not sure what it is.


I Feel So Sorry For Fergie…Really I Do

It’s rare that I feel sorry for uber hot women who make millions and millions of dollars. But I’m starting to feel a little sorry for Fergie of the Blackeyed Peas.

Yeah, I’m sitting at a little desk and pretty soon I’ll walk out and get in my little 2001 Nissan (with 212,000 miles pretty cool, right). But I’m worried about Fergie because her situation is  bleak.

Here’s the issue. Fergie is aging and it shows  Generally, white women, when compared to Asian, Hispanic and Black women, don’t age very well.  My mom used to say we had “cheap ten cent skin that didn’t last very long.”

 To make matters Fergie has to stand next to a couple of black men all the time.  They don’t age, they just get cooler and cooler.  Nobody knows or cares how old Will I Am is, and he wears so much bizarre stuff, we can’t really see his face. 

Will I Am is just the brilliant funky Blackeyed Peas dude. Fergie, on the other hand, is supposed to be “the hot one”, and from a distance she still is.  But white skin seems to crack faster than brown and black. It sucks but it’s the truth. When you look at publicity shots and their web site she looks just like she did five years ago because they can touch her up. But when you see her live or untouched photos it’s clear she’s aging like a normal woman.  Take a look at her neck.

Fergie is certainly much hotter than I am or I ever was, but she has thousands of people staring at her every day under bright lights and she’s not supposed to age. I’ve got four kids and a mortgage, people expect me to get old.

So, next time I’m in a group and I have to have my picture taken, I’m going to find a great big old white person. I’m sure as hell not gonna stand by the cool black dude.

*Leave me a comment, find me on facebook or email me at hampoland@gmail.com

Viewing Black Men as Preditors

The Trayvon Martian tragedy has forced me to think about black men. Or more to the point, how I act and think around younger African American men.

Of course I like to think I’m not at all prejudice, but that’s a lie, every one is. But not everyone admits it or is honest with themselves.

I’m naturally a pretty friendly person. I talk to strangers all the time, I visit with people in the produce isle, I know the bank tellers by name and ask about their kids, hell, I even start conversations at traffic lights.  I visit with just about everybody including  older African Americans just as much as white folks, but I started taking note of my own actions around young black men and those who seem less fortunate.

Guess what? I tensed up around a group of black teens in the mall. At the Dodge Store there were three African American men in their early 20s standing outside the door.  Again, I tensed up. But why?  I’ve never been attacked or assaulted in anyway by a black man. I’ve argued with friends who happened to be black but I’ve never had a confrontational moment with any African American.

So, for the past three days I’ve made a point to be friendly to young black men and those less fortunate.

1. As I walked out of a building three homeless (or so they appeared) black men rode past on old bikes. They looked at me with blank expressions until I smiled and said, “What a great day for a bike ride.” All three men smiled back, one waved and one guy said, ‘Yeah it is!”

I was a friendly lady in a red dress why wouldn’t they smile.

2.In Walmart there was a African American young man, probably 20 in line behind me. He was sagging, had on a white tank top and a lot of hair. I smiled and said, “I like your shoes.”  He was wearing a good looking pair of high top Nikes with orange trim.

He smiled back, nodded and looked at his shoes. Thanks”.

I don’t know what the hell happened in Sanford, Florida and I don’t understand why George Zimmerman wasn’t arrested. But it’s got some of us thinking. Hopefully, that’s a good thing.

**Let me know what you think, comment, e-mail me at hampoland@gmail.comor friend me on facebook.