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Black lawmakers, stunned by Scott, want minorities to get to work for governor

by Dara Kam | February 16th, 2011

After four years of close relations with his predecessor Charlie Crist, most black lawmakers believe they’ll have a much cooler relationship with Gov. Rick Scott.

“I’m not optimistic at all,” said Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, whose district includes a portion of Palm Beach County.

But don’t look for any sit-ins, yet.

After two months on the job, Gov. Rick Scott has yet to appoint a black or Hispanic to a high-level post.

And at a luncheon for black lawmakers at the mansion yesterday, he further alienated some of the members by suggesting he grew up like them – in public housing and with a parent who had a sixth-grade education.

He also told them he wants their help hiring minorities although he also said he insisted he believe in giving preferences to applicants based on race or ethnicity.

Today, black lawmakers set up an e-mail address to help Scott round out his hires.

Blacks and Hispanics interested in getting to work for Scott should send their applications to, caucus leader Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, said at a press conference today. Minority business owners seeking contracts with the state should also send their information, Siplin advised.

The lawmakers want Scott to reconsider his decision to whack money for historically black private colleges – except the financially ailing Edward Waters College near Jacksonville – from his budget.

Siplin said they’ll meet again with Scott and forward the qualified applicants to his office.

Siplin said Scott was simply sharing his background with the black caucus by mentioning the public housing and parents’ lack of education.

“Quite frankly, all black folks are not poor,” Siplin said at a press conference Wednesday.

Smith, whose mother has a master’s degree, said he was shocked at Scott’s comments at yesterday’s lunch and considered walking out.

“He just assumed because he was sitting with a bunch of black people that we had all grown up in public housing,” Smith said.

Scott is “tremendously disconnected” from the realities of being black or Hispanic in Florida, Smith said.

“He doesn’t see the need for diversity or inclusion,” Smith said. “Any diversity that happens (in his administration) is going to happen by happenstance.”

Gov. Jeb Bush started off by alienating blacks when he did away with minority preferences in university admission and state contracting.

Bush’s actions prompted two black lawmakers – then-Sen. Kendrick Meek and Sen. Tony Hill, then a House member – to stage a sit-in in his office.

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9 Responses to “Black lawmakers, stunned by Scott, want minorities to get to work for governor”

  1. Poverty Says:

    Poverty crosses all racial groups.

    Blacks think they are the only group in poverty and think they are the only ones who have been deprived.

    Tired of group preferences. That dilutes our country. Just look at our schools…instead of raising those on the bottom up….there are second, third, fourth chances to pass.

    No wonder the quality of workers has declined. Just wait till racial preferences, gender preferences work their way into the fabric of our workforce and society. DILUTION of quality in ALL realms from medicine to government workers. Big problems!

    Only give preference to those who QUALIFY for a job, not for those who qualify because they belong to a certain group or gender.

  2. ScottyB Says:

    Liberal stereotypes fanning the flames of racism.

  3. GT Says:

    Were these same Dems. telling blacks to vote for Scott??? He owes them nothing except equal standing under the law. If he brings jobs to Fl. they will prosper also. Scott owes very few people, that’s what I like about him.

  4. american man Says:

    let’s stop kidding ourselves – young black males don’t want to work and have never had a father influence to impress upon them the need. It’s gold teeth and drugs with drive by shootings as their adopted sport. They are by products of the welfare program by President Carter and Johnson – have baby get check, have more babies get more checks. End of story-lets hear the whinning. This is why our jails are full today – these babies have grown up.

  5. Jack Gillies Says:

    Hmmm? Two months in office and Rick Scott is being blamed for not hiring minorities. Hmm? Does Sen. Chris Smith surround himself with conservatives in his circle, black or white? Smith is part of the problem in our society. Here is a novel idea… let’s vote out Chris Smith the next time he is up for election… not because he is a minority but because he doesn’t view things through the same lens as the majority of Americans.

  6. The Tower Of Babel Says:

    The likes of Chris Smith and other minority racists are one of the major problems in the USA! Smith and other “blacks” listen to the venon of Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton who long years ago passed what sought for by MLK and that’s equality! When African Americans reached the equality level (such as what made it possible for Smith’s mother to earn a master’s degree)black’s like Jackson and Sharpton went into high grear creating and demanding something called affirmative action (which made African Americans and other minorities better than us poor white trash!) Then when topped out that scam and got all government agencies loaded with minorities, just in the nick of time they invested Diversity. Go to good ole Webster’s dictionalry and see what that means! That means we are going back to square one like after the Civil War, we all goning to be free but different! Diversity is nothing more than the old technique of divide and conquer! Make everyone different and cause stress and strain between the races in society. Those will brains can already tell you Obama’s power alone has already set race relations in the USA back over 50 years! Diversity was first used by God Almighty at the bulding of the Tower Of Babel. the workers come to work one morning and no two could speak the same language. I am a white male non-prejudiced person with some age on me who has always just wanted to see equality for all. Those who work regardless of sex, race, origin should all receive the same pay for the same job! Every citizen of the USA should be entitled to an education, but they need to work for it like I did and not expect to take my money to pay their way!

    It’s obvious to those with brains, the good old USA is heading down the tubes. Just how far depends largely on how much the American people are willing to continue with their heads up their butts. We’ve already possibly gone to far to save, since we’ve been headed to hell since “GW” invaded Iraq because Saddam insulted “ole one world order himself” George “HW” Bush! If the people of the USA do not demand honest transparent government from city hall to washington soon there will be no USA!

  7. Florida_kes Says:

    “Scott is “tremendously disconnected” from the realities of being black or Hispanic in Florida, Smith said.”

    The “Governor” is tremendously disconnected from reality, PERIOD.

  8. Richard Says:

    Would be nice if these legislators would focus more on bringing down illegitimate birth rates and other issues of importance instead of looking everywhere for racists.

  9. Melzee Says:

    Racist governor is as racist governor does as also displayed by the post by some of those here; especially by the idiiot american man.

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