BET Founder Bob Johnson Calls on President Obama to Address Black Unemployment
Robert Johnson, BET founder, billionaire, and head of RLJ enterprises, has once again called for President Obama to address black unemployment more directly.
Johnson is proposing a plan that would require corporations to interview qualified black candidates during the hiring process:
[Johnson] said the idea is patterned after the National Football League’s Rooney Rule,which requires teams to interview minority candidates seeking head-coaching or general manager jobs before making hiring decisions.
Johnson said he broached the idea with Obama and about a dozen black business leaders in December last year at a White House meeting. At the time, Johnson said, Obama said he liked the idea and would pursue it with his jobs council, a panel of corporate leaders that advises the president on job creation.
Johnson said he held follow-up meetings with White House staff but eventually the effort “fizzled out.”
Johnson, whose idea has been endorsed by the National Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus and the U.S. Black Chamber Inc. said he decided to issue a public statement pushing the idea after reading a Washington Post article about the racial unemployment gap.
Read more at The Washington Post.
Does Robert Johnson have a good idea?
Will requiring hiring managers to interview black candidates help the unemployment rate?
Will the Obama Administration directly address persistent unemployment among youth and people of color in this second term?
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