DNC Criticized for Awarding Few Contracts to Minority-Owned Businesses

Democratic loyalists accuse the party of failing to advance the cause of fair racial representation in the lucrative business of politics.

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CBC members hold press conference. (Getty Images)

Black Voices is reporting that Democratic Party insiders say the Democratic National Committee awards few contracts to companies controlled by racial-minority groups, despite repeated pledges to increase business to such firms. Instead Democratic leaders claim progress by leaning on a broader definition of "minority contractors," which includes white women, the disabled and the gay community, according to internal memos and emails obtained by the Huffington Post and corroborated by those insiders.

African-American Democratic loyalists are reportedly frustrated with the party for failing to use its institutional finances to advance the cause of fair racial represenation in the lucrative business politics. "There is no more loyal group of voters to the DNC than black people, and yet they have done nothing to ensure that that constituency is able to participate fully in the economic benefits of party business," said a DNC member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

DNC leaders say while they take such concerns seriously, having launched a broad review of the committee's hiring practices, they have been and remain committed to diversity, as does the broader party.

This strategy isn't new. Defining diversity in such a broad way allows companies, governments and organizations to get away with not hiring black-owned businesses. While blacks are at the forefront of leading the fight for diversity, often being scapegoated in the process, other groups are elevated financially and politically, while remaining silent about the lack of contracts awarded to people of color. The DNC convention will take place in Charlotte in 2012, where there is a strong, black business community. Time will tell how many vendors of color will get contracts from the organization.

Read more at Black Voices.

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