How deep is corruption?

00-haroldalfordI have seen examples of corruption throughout my life. Some are pretty much like the Coca-Cola driver peddling hot drinks throughout my old neighborhood. How about the time when one of my football coaches offered cash under the table for us if we made major hits, touchdowns, interceptions, etc.?

I have seen it all. Some has been petty and some had the potential of serious implications and outcomes if I would have agreed to it.

Spawning ground
A great spawning ground for corruption are the minority business programs throughout our nation. City, county, state, federal and corporations have some form of outreach and technical assistance for businesses that come from racial/socio economic disadvantaged groups. Most require participants to be “certified” as a minority, female, etc. type of business ownership.

There is so much fraud involved in many of these applications that we can’t count them all. Cheating applicant, cheating employee overseeing the program and usually a cheating White-owned seasoned business conspiring with the others.

Every one of these programs has some form of corruption in their daily process. Some do it for quick bucks and some do it to prolong their racist attitudes and/or greed.

There is much corruption going on with the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This is similar to a free trade treaty. AGOA certified nations in Africa may export goods to America without paying any duties. There are two big abuses going on. 1. German auto manufacturer BMW has built a plant in South Africa for the sole purpose of shipping the product to the United States duty free.

Corrupt operators
In essence, a European firm is benefitting from a program meant for African firms. India has jumped into this AGOA action. The island nation of Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean and has been given “nominal status” as an African nation.

India is shipping tons of raw products to this island of mainly Indian expatriates and then shipping the finished products to the Unites States under AGOA benefits.

How many trillions of dollars are taken out of our general economy because of corruption? How many good decisions and acts of leadership are lost to bribery, kick-backs and many other forms of corruption? It is an attitude that focuses on greed, quick money and a life style of cheating.

You can’t get to Heaven living that way. Sooner or later most of the corrupt operators will get their justice. Too bad, most will be replaced with others of the same ilk. Just how deep is corruption? Too deep!

Harry Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: Email:



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