This forum post is hidden because you have chosen to ignore golfinsailor. Show Details
This forum post is hidden because you have submitted an abuse report against it. Show Details
No region is immune from bigotry. I grew up in a lily white suburb of Cleveland Ohio and the neighbors on my block were about as bigoted toward blacks as any klansman in the south.
Posted by golfinsailor
I enjoyed "Gran Torino" and in fact have the DVD that I watch every once in a while. It teaches a good lesson.
And yes, I experienced racial prejudice in Indianapolis on a personal basis. I was asked by the Colonel to take over a section that was experiencing problems in getting work done. They had paperwork stacked upon on file cabinets, etc. which dealt directly with enlisted soldiers careers. It consisted entirely of black women, and when I walked in with my southern accent, being a NCO made no difference. They basically refused to work for me. I had a leave approved and asked the Colonel if I could go ahead and take it to spend Christmas at home in Texas. When I came back things had settled down.
First I was a southerner, and second they thought I was going to eliminate their jobs when my purpose was to use management principles to make it easier and to speed up production. I accomplished both by using the human relation principles I had a hand in developing and teaching in an Air Force assignment. By the time I was transferred the unit's Sergeant Major, who was also Black, told me that no one was as ever as well liked by everyone there.
Additionally here in civilian life and while managing the local distributorship of major oil company, I needed a truck driver and out of 100 applicants I hired a Black guy in spite of the unofficial word not to hire such. He turned out to be the most outstanding driver in the company's other distributorships here in South Texas. We have been good friends now for around 20 years even after I left that postion for industrial sales.
Posted by TxGrandpa2
The Ford plant where they made the Gran Torino is located not far from where I live in Lorain Ohio which is in the next county to the west, about 25 miles away. That plant employed more than 7000 workers back in the 1970s when they were in full production. After they stopped making the Gran Torino, the plant was refitted to make the Thunderbirds and Mercury Cougars and the bodies for the Ford Econoline vans. There is a van plant nearby where the bodies were put on the chassies for final assembly.
When Ford stopped making the T-birds and cougars, employment dropped and the Econoline van production was moved there. That plant was shut down in 2006 and still stands empty. It devastated the local economy since Lorain is not as big as Cleveland to the east and the economy there was dependent on the auto plant as well as the steel mills there. The steel mill used to be U.S. Steel, but it is now owned by some Asian company. It employs a fraction of the number of workers it did back in the 1970s.
Back in the spring of 1982, I was transferred to Spartanburg South Carolina from Ohio to manage a field office of a major insurance company. I hired the first black agent for the company in Spartanburg. He came highly recommended and seemed to know everyone in town. He turned out to be the most productive agent in the district (which included fifty agents for the company in the upstate region of South Carolina). In his first full year, he qualified for Million Dollar Round Table and repeated that the next year. He was promoted into management and transferred to northern Virginia outside of Washington DC.
He was well liked in the office and treated with a lot of respect. The white agents got along with him fine and I never noticed any prejudice toward him or blacks in general while I was in Spartanburg. He introduced me to the community there and especially the black community which comprised about 40% of the population of Spartanburg.