Reid’s Negro comment and the Ethical message we are sending…

January 12, 2010

Frankly I don’t care whether Harry Reid keeps his political position or not.  It’s obvious that he’s stuck his foot in his mouth based on the political firestorm that seems to have erupted.  Rather, as an ethics speaker, I would like to raise the discussion about what message we are sending to our young people when it comes to truth and free speech.

Harry Reid spoke the truth.  Nothing he said had not been said by rank and file Americans as the election process proceeded.  Anyone who paid attention to the election from the primaries forward, at first, would have doubted that an inexperienced Senator (who happened to be Black or African-American – which is politically correct seems to be determined on who you speak with) could win his parties nomination.  Most would have felt that American’s were not ready for a non-white President.  Who knew…?

But, as Barack Obama put himself before the public it became clear that his articulation and young new face was just what the country wanted.  Reid said – he was a light skinned black man who did not have a “negro dialect” (unless he wanted to have one).  And, that combination made Obama electable.  Now…please tell me – was Reid inaccurate in his comment.

As a professional speaker I firmly believe that President Obama skills at oration (like those of John Kennedy) captured the imagination of the American people and dramatically contributed to his crossover appeal to the large American population instead of finding himself a divided racial wonder.

ETHICAL ISSUE:  For days now Harry Reid finds himself embroiled in this controversy.  But, he spoke the truth.  So, what message are we sending to our youth?

1.  Speak the TRUTH and find that it’s (the truth) not politically correct and lose your job?

2.  POLITICALLY CORRECT comments are more valuable than the truth?

3.  Political Correctness is the TRUTH?

For the life of me, I just don’t get what all the fuss is about.  Wouldn’t it be better to honor the truth and dismiss POLITICALLY CORRECTNESS – isn’t that the ethical high road.

It seems that we are more concerned with not offending than we are with allowing TRUTH to be spoken.


How Much Is Three Years in Federal Prison Worth?

November 27, 2007


While there are those who would disagree with me – I feel that there is no amount worth the pain of prison. Having been there myself, I speak from experience.

But the Department of Justice released today that the former president and owner of ATE Tel Solutions, Rafael G. Adame, will spend three years in prison following his conviction for his involvement in a scheme to defraud the federal E-Rate program. The E-Rate program subsidizes the provision of Internet access and telecommunications services, as well as internal computer and communications networks, to economically disadvantaged schools and libraries.

The news release is attached:

According to the news release, ” Adame was convicted of submitting fraudulent invoices for payment to the Schools and Libraries Division of USAC from December 2001 to May 2003. As a result of the scheme to defraud the E-Rate program, Adame fraudulently obtained $106,514 in payments from USAC.”

$106,000+ in theft = three years in federal prison? I don’t get it. But then again, I did something equally as dumb and paid the price. Adame will now come to know the lesson: Every Choice Has A Consequence.

As a business ethics speaker and Senior Sales Executive in a public company, I speak to groups nationwide about choices and consequences. In fact, my most recent presentation is entitled – The Truth About Consequences! While every choice has a consequence – the fact is we can determine whether the consequence is either negative or positive.

Your thoughts about this truth?

Business Ethics Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – Signing off…

Prison – What About My Safety? Yagman’s Choices and Consequences

November 24, 2007

Stephen Yagman – recipient of the 2004 Clay awards for his outstanding achievements in Civil Rights Law was convicted of tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud in June of ’07.

Claiming that he made enemies in law enforcement for his campaigns against police abuse, Yagman (through his attorney) argues that he should be spared an active prison term due to his fear he would be physically harmed in jail.

His story is stated here by the Associated Press:

Creative…I’ll give him that. But I would be shocked if the Federal Government prosecutors would have any interest in Yagman avoiding an active prison sentence and instead – teaching at a university.

Here’s a reality check – Yagman will find that his ego will be severely deflated upon entering prison. First, most of the inmates have no clue who he is and, frankly, won’t care.

For his crime he’ll likely be sent to a minimum security prison. Fact One, the inmates there are short timers and are anticipating getting out. They have no desire to do anything that will prolong their stay. So his safety is not an issue.

Fact Two, he’ll likely be sent to a place where his enemies won’t be. For example, he would likely be shipped to a federal minimum security facility out of state – fewer people who have any knowledge of his identity.

Fact Three, Yagman has shown from his conviction that he has a disregard for the law through his actions related to hiding assets in bankruptcy and from the IRS (tax evasion). Hence, it would be far reaching to think that the government would consider him a likely candidate to teach morality.

I know what Mr. Yagman is facing as I’ve spent time in Federal prison for tax evasion myself. I did not enjoy the experience. It was humbling to say the least. However, there are several things that I learned from my prison experience that were invaluable:

  • To learn about yourself – what and what you really are – after having all aspects of ego stripped away is priceless. Sometimes you might not like what you see or come to learn, but you do learn and from that have the opportunity to grow.
  • I learned that success was not in any way defined by the things that surround us – those are the things that feed our ego’s. Rather, I learned that success comes truly from the impact you have on other people. My time in prison gave me the opportunity to come to know others and myself. It gave us all a chance to become real rather than to hide behind the illusion of who we project ourselves to be.
  • I learned that Every Choice Has A Consequence. Whether the consequence is negative or positive is up to you and the choices you make. You are in control of your choices and therefore the outcomes.
  • Finally, through a simple opportunity to speak to others about what not to do…I found my life’s calling – speaking to others and sharing simple truths.

Perhaps Mr. Yagman will learn as I did about the truth of who he is and what true justice means. I wish him well and respect his fight…but over time, when ego identity is stripped away, perhaps he’ll come to learn more that he could have ever taught.

Any commensts?

Business Ethics Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…Texas Motivational Speaker, Chuck Gallagher