Redacted Racism From The Executive Level | I'm Stronger Than Fear

Yep, In Recruiting Land … Redacted Racism

The relationship actually started out pretty good.  Took a few years of patience, but most “good things” do.  Patience and professional persistence to be honest.  I stayed in touch every six months or so until he said yes.  You know, agreeing to work with me in assisting him with a few search assignments.  Let’s call him Paul.

Paul owns a sub $30M firm with the desire of growing the concern to $50M+.  In order to do that a number of moving parts are required – namely solid talent.  So, I went to work, once greenlighted to engage, in sourcing and screening potential considerations for his team.  Sounds good right? However, this would not be a feel good story.

Let me set this up appropriately.

This is a post that places Paul’s racist words and actions within his workplace and beyond on display.  This is a post that reminds recruiters and readers that often ask me “why do you focus on diversity” or say “haven’t we talked about diversity enough?”  A post for those who suggest  Affirmative Action, EEOC, D&I initiatives, and the various reports from Silicon Valley are enough.

It’s important to note that I in no way lost my composure in the midst of his ignorance, denigration and threats, as they unfolded over time and a series of emails.  Below, three email excerpts that highlight the grip of racism is bitter and present.  More often than many care to acknowledge.  There’s no Chrome extension that measures racist bullshit, I just know it exits.

Let’s begin – shall we:

Exhibit A: (email one)

 From: Paul                                                                                                                 October 28, 2017, at 11:42 PM

 Subject: White Nazi Business

 To: Torrin (SIC)

 “Don’t you ever call me again, you Sub-Saharan African, not in my world.”

Email one (1) was light – just wanted you to see the heading and timestamp (top right corner).  Lesson to all, it is out of bounds to refer to anyone in this manner.  I’m of a certain age and certainly understand when the term “Sub Saharan” is used, it is clearly meant to be derogatory.  Not pictured, but he went on to state “Bell Curve written by Richard Hernstein and Charles Murray, is absolutely spot on, despite being discredited by you left leaning Sub-Saharan Africans and the Jewish Press.”

I’ll spare the history or political commentary.  Suffice-it-to-say, the book has seen a resurgence of commentary and cover in 2017.  

Exhibit B: (email two)

 From: Paul                                                                                                                     November 3, 201710:42 PM

 Subject: The last we saw of white nigger Maryn Dawson was 

To: Torrin 

Email two (2) was pushing it – although I did explain to him not to mischaracterize our professional relationship.  Notice the timestamp.  In this email, he complains about one (1) of my two (2) placements with his firm not meeting quota after about seven (7) weeks.  I needed him to understand that onboarding, pushing play, and success were a shared effort.

Reminded him that one, I was willing to address the candidate and support as best I could (externally) but that I suspected his attitude and communication were a definite factor in culture and support or lack thereof.  Because both parties carry a portion of the burden of delivering on their promises, also reminded Paul … you owe me chump.  

I believe that conversation ended with him referring to me as “an idiot.”

Exhibit C: (email three)

 From: Paul                                                                                                             November 17, 2017 10:58 PM

 Subject: Michael {redacted} Case


Here is the latest result of diversity. I hired this young man with a BA in Accounting. A pureblood Najaho Indian from Arizona, University of Albuquerque. Presenting well, he came on the job with a cloaked and hidden Felony arrest and misdemeanor arrest. He hid that from the recruiter and me. On the job 5 months and all our investment, in training.

He went to court for assault and abduction a Class 5 E Felony in the {redacted} and despite my help lost. 2 years in {redacted}. Serve one. Beat the shit out of his girlfriend and in the hospital.

Here is your diversity, right up the ass.

I got a call from my alma mater, as to opening up my successful company to their interns and hire their MBA graduates. And you had better believe I am hiring Lilly white young men, from traceable well-to-do families that have a provenance.

The problem with {redacted} as I told you walking off the job is he was a cracker, a WVA poor white boy. I don’t care black, white, Indian, or yellow, brown, green. If they don’t carry the “lucky Sperm” card as to strong family wealth and must-generation real social standing, I just do not want to see them or waste my time.

Here is your diversity. I testified at {redacted} to save his job. the Judge gave him 6 months on the assault and the rest on the Felony Charge.

I am a successful older businessman. I no longer want anything to do with the underclass, as you represent, {redacted} this Indian, and of course, I will never ever hire a black man. EVER. And of course my decision can NEVER be regulated.

Diversity, here it is and ugly.


Email number three (3) did it.  It was the one that reminded me more than the others why I do this work.  Why I am unapologetic and vigilant and not here for the excuses attached to the lips of too many in this space.  We have NOT made it to the mountain top.  I’m tired of reading article after article with the lame headline and tattered theme of 2% representation. 

I’m tired of CDO’s and D&I designates relying on the “lack of pipeline” phrase when thousands are graduating each and every year.  Keep in mind that Congress passed the Immigration Innovation Act in 2015 which raised visa allotments.  We are more than capable of hiring foreign AND underrepresented talent – simultaneously.  Sidenote – my signature delivery (Will v Skill).  

And most of all, CEO’s, VC’s and powerful speaking with the tone of the defeated providing cover for leaders like Paul.  I’m as committed today as I’ve ever been.  I’ve watched this space for more than a decade and see through the veil of false efforts.  Companies grand standing and dropping press releases yet abandoning their promises before the ink is even dry.  

I’ve reached out for years to a mix of C-Suite leaders in efforts to socialize the conversation around diversity only to find most afraid to speak on camera.  I’ve dropped posts inside of Facebook groups inviting recruiters onto SiriusXM to chat about their diversity efforts and most requests have been met with crickets.  I’m not deterred, more like emboldened.

I’ll use my every fiber to continue pushing (powerful) messages that advance access, equity, opportunity and increased parity.  2017 was blistering for quite a few with a legion of #metoo revelations and 2018 introducing #timesup.  I’m glad about it.  It’s high time for folks to recognize their ice was never colder – that it too is just ice.  

The sooner this is understood, the faster we’ll all achieve the type of team building we desire.

About Torin:

Diversity Maverick Recruiter and Strategist // Interview Architect // Engaging and high spirited.  Creative, high voltage, ready to pursue that result. Author of Rip The Resume