“I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.” -- Gov. HaleyFollowing the racist, terrorist attack by Dylann Roof which left 9 African-Americans dead in a Charleston Church, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley (R) defended the flying of the Confederate battle flag over the Statehouse. In response to the growing demand that the flag be taken down, Haley responded that the Confederate flag was a “sensitive issue.”
“What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state,” the governor noted. “I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”
Her comment was revealing, not only about Haley's gross insensitivity to the victims and their families, but also about who the governor considers to be her constituents.
It also left me wondering just how many CEOs had Haley actually surveyed and if any of them were African-American. Or to put it differently, just how many black CEOs are there in the state? No, no make that the nation?
The retirement of McDonald's CEO Don Thompson last January left just just two CEOs who are African-American in the elite Dow 30. A broader sample shows an even more dismal diversity picture within the ownership society. A mere five CEOs are black at the nation's 500 largest companies.
None in South Carolina. This in a state with a population of over 4 million, 30% of them African-American. It has a rising rate of children under 18 living in poverty. S.C. now stands in 45th place in the nation in the well-being of its children in the annual Kids Count report, with poverty and education being the main factors that kept the state five spots from the bottom for the second year in a row.
That's not too say there aren't some successful black-owned businesses in S.C. There are. But I doubt that Gov. Haley surveyed any of their owners about the flying of the Confederate flag.
Cant make this up: S. Carolina governor who defends flying confederate flag at statehouse can't understand what motivates someone to do this— Yousef Munayyer (@YousefMunayyer) June 18, 2015