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Queens Chronicle

NAACP is out to lunch at Aqueduct

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Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 12:00 pm

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has played a storied role in promoting the equality of black Americans for more than 100 years. But that doesn’t mean its every move is right, and the Jamaica chapter has it wrong on Resorts World New York, the Genting Worldwide affiliate that is building and will operate the Aqueduct racino.

Genting has bent over backwards to hire people from the surrounding area for the endeavor, putting a special emphasis on minorities. Yet it’s not enough for Leroy Gadsden, the Jamaica NAACP president, who charges the firm with discrimination, claiming it may as well put up a sign saying black people aren’t welcome.

The claim is ridiculous. The firm is probably hiring more people right now than any other company in Queens, and this newspaper knows firsthand that it is specifically targeting South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, Laurelton and other predominantly black communities for recruitment.

Of course discrimination still exists in many institutions, despite its illegality. But there’s no indication Resorts World New York is one of them. All the evidence says the exact opposite. Gadsden, who may be serving his own political ambitions with his protests, should lay off the company and find a better way to advance the goal of true equality.

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