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Why the double standard, Charlotte?

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Does Charlotte have a double standard?

Recent news reports about the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services head Mary Wilson causes one to wonder.

Questions about Mrs. Wilson’s decision to hire persons with whom she had prior working relationships, and whose level of competence she had observed, echo reasons given earlier by those who opposed affirmative action.

Anyone making a hiring decision in general is guided by three principals: competence for the job, trust in the person to perform the job and a sense that the person will be a good fit in the overall company.

How many of us have been rejected for jobs where we were told that the company just did not think we were the right fit?

News reports failed to mention that Mrs. Wilson has hired both Hispanic and white employees to her senior staff. African Americans make up only a small percentage of Mrs. Wilson’s hiring decisions at DSS.

The questions aimed at Mrs. Wilson were not raised of the current city manger, Curt Walton, for hiring Pat Mumford to a newly created city position with a salary of more than $150,000 a year. This is the same Mr. Mumford who once sat on the city council and voted to hire Mr. Walton as city manager. It should be noted that Mr. Mumford had no prior experience for the job he was hired to fill.

Neither have similar questions been raised of past Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendents who had family members in high-paying school district jobs. And what about a school superintendent whose budget proposal requests $2 million for his senior staff of eight people for two years while proposing to cut hundreds of classroom teachers?

If the concerns of the public and the media are perceptions and not legal wrongdoing, of which no one has been accused, the standard should be the same for all public positions and hiring practices.

Besides, this is American, the land of the free, with the same standard of justice for all.

Dr. Ricky A. Woods is senior pastor at First Baptist Church-West

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October 9, 2015
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