Thursday, June 12, 2014

Who really wins in a Zero Sum Game?




The title by itself, sounds like a glowing accomplishment.  The speaker stood proudly in her proclamation as the crowd of mostly Latina women cheered her on.   As I challenged the speaker about the rate of graduation she was touting- she avoided the backdrop.  I sought to identify who 'latinas' were being compared against in her factoid.  

 Finally she confessed- relative to their male counterparts.   

"Latinas are outpacing Latino males in their educational pursuits and career development".

Not too glowing of figure in that context!  Where have we seen that in practice before?  The African-American community is set in a graduation rate and career rate of black women that towers over their male counterparts.  Relegated to a life in prison , premature death or perpetual unemployment- black males become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Henpecked and belittled- they live down to the standards expected (or not) of them. 

Given this cultural lesson, I was befuddled that the speaker would speak to a primarily latino audience of this lopsided statistic.   I can see if we were speaking of this milestone in relation to their white, black or other female counterparts- but it truly becomes a zero sum game when you are touting the rise of one part of the equation vs. the other.  Who really wins?  One wins at the expense of their male counterparts - in some households- perhaps their very own brothers- they win while others lose.  

The twisted logic stuck to me as I walked away...  Some power shift.  What power?  



~Lou Sandoval is an entrepreneur whose successful career transcends over 17 years of Fortune 100 experience parlayed into business ownership. Lou believes in giving back to his community and has been involved in the Boy Scouts of America's leadership. He serves on a few non-profit and professional boards. Opinions expressed here are solely personal and not a representation of any of the organizations with which he may be affiliated.

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