Alden Loury Uncovers Chicago's HR Nightmare

There’s a story in the news that Rahm doesn’t want you to see. Just 7 months before the next election, he’s trying to regain support of the African-American “community”. To the mayor’s chagrin, the latest report from journalist-turned-demographer Alden Loury could deflate that momentum. According to Loury, African-Americans in Chicago are not gaining jobs downtown at the same rate as other groups. The same Chicago that boasts about attracting 48 corporate relocations this decade is one that has dislocated its African-American workforce.

It’s like a scene from Forrest Gump. When African-Americans apply for jobs in The Loop, we get hit with the “seat’s taken” mumbo jumbo. It makes me wonder: what’s the point of selling us bus tickets if we can’t sit down? When I worked for a major TV network’s sales office by Pioneer Court, I was the first black male hired in 13 years. Instead of complaining, I was happy to finally work downtown in an office. A year before, I was passing out samples in front of that same building. To some Chicago employers, my degrees and experience didn’t matter once they saw the color of my skin. As a result, I became my own boss.

If my fellow African-Americans want to work downtown, they might have to “relocate” their own companies there. But I don’t think it will be worth the hassle. We need to create our own business districts and attract talent to other parts of the city.

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