How bad does Shelby County discriminates against black businesses?

This bad. (The link is to a YouTube video. And yes, I know the first slide says it’s under 2 minutes but the video is 2:12. That will be updated in later versions.)

I’ve written about the racial disparity in municipal contracting processes – which sounds dry as sh*t, I’d be the first to admit – but it’s actually really important. (Here’s an graphic I created a couple of years ago on the topic.)

The short version: Black people finance their own discrimination when they pay taxes into a county government that then awards an unfair share of county contracts to businesses owned by white men. This has been happening in the county (and city) where I’m from for decades.

My video is an attempt to explain the issue by stressing the consensus values in the middle of Hallin’s Sphere and the deviance of continuing to use tax dollars to give one group an unfair advantage over another.

Here’s the story I was trying to explain. The story includes the numbers I cite, but people who won’t read the story WILL watch a video.

I’d like to redo it and make it snappier, add some sound effects and pictures. Some of the slides with not much text could have been shorter, but there’s no (easy) way in Keynote to vary the length of the slides.

Creating this was a beast. (Pro tip: If you create a Powerpoint, export the slides as JPEGs and import the JPEGs into iMovie, the stills will be so blurry as to be unreadable. A workaround: Use Keynote to create a slideshow, export it as a QuickTime movie and then upload to YouTube or wherever. Or alternately, get a legit video editor like Premiere or Final Cut.)

I think THIS is the future of news. I’d like to create a series of videos like this, ideally under a minute. The series (#MLK50, referenced at the end of the video) will be focused on how public policy reinforces racial/economic injustice in Memphis – and what policies would create a more economically equitable environment.

My “fierce urgency of now” is that in two years, Memphis will mark the 50th anniversary of the violent interruption of Martin Luther King’s vision of economic equality. King came to Memphis to make sure that local government treated mistreated black sanitation workers fairly, but 48 years later, the black community is still getting the short end of the stick.