This, however, is along the lines of the well-off now (Ret.) USN Rear Admiral of German extraction who happens to call Puerto Rico home and claims to be Hispanic ... and the other USN Rear Admiral who grew up in the leafy suburbs in DC with a nice Anglo-Saxon name and whose had a grandparent from the Texas border area ... so claimed to be Hispanic as well. Yea, those guys and more who played it for all it was worth.
Those are pillars of virtue compared to this guy. Behold the fruits of perverse incentive.
On numerous occasions this column has given shout outs to the quality journalism published in the Indianapolis Business Journal.In a zero sum game where preferential treatment is given on the basis of self-identified racial and ethnic groups, the theft that is self-identification fraud is encouraged and rewarded.
And this week is no exception. A front page story by IBJ’s Managing Editor Cory Schouten reports the machinations and political logrolling by Ersal Ozdemir, a politically connected businessman, who’s used his connections to garner millions in tax benefits and subsidies for a variety of projects throughout Indianapolis.
These types of business-meets-politician deals happen in cities all over.
But what makes the deals of Ozdemir and his main business Keystone Construction of great interest to our African-American community is that his business has been certified as a minority-owned business by both the City of Indianapolis and the State of Indiana.
Just one problem – Ozdemir isn’t a minority, based upon the commonly accepted definitions of minority-owned businesses (MBE).
Ozdemir is a native of Mersin, Turkey, a town on the Mediterrean Sea.
According to IBJ, Ozdemir applied to the city as an MBE business, but was turned down in 2010. Under existing laws, individuals from Turkey aren’t considered one of the minority groups – Black/African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and American Indian, defined by the feds, state and city.
But, according to IBJ, Ozdemir appealed saying that because Turkey is located both in Europe and Asia; he should be considered “Asian” and thus a minority.
The incentives are perverse and for those of mixed race background, the structure is illogical and in many ways immoral.
The whole structure is wormed.