Maybe we should not be surprised, but now that a person of color -- a Black man to be exact -- has won "The Apprentice," some Americans have forgotten how capitalism functions, and the racist backlash has begun. I won't bother to engage the nonsense being spewed on boards at AOL and Yahoo! Read any of those boards after ANY article that mentions a person of color has been published, and you'd think that you'd have stumbled into a cyber-meeting of the Klan. I'm more outraged at the supposedly liberal news media criticism of Randal Pinkett for not choosing to share his deserved spoils with the second place Rebecca Jarvis.
So it really shocks me that after weeks of earning not only the respect but also the unabated fondness of his colleagues, folks now criticize Randal for not agreeing to Trump's suggestion that he hire Rebecca, too. This is not a cutthroat guy, nor was it a cutthroat decision that he made. The truth is, it was the shrewd business decision. No matter how much you may like and respect the person, you do NOT share your power with the also-ran. It may not be the sweetest thing in the world to do, but it's not in and of itself a terrible thing either, and in the world of business, it's the right thing. Even Trump knew it (more on that in a minute.) Yet by doing what any smart business person of any race or sex might have, Randal has gone from being painted as the overwhelmingly deserving favorite to reality TV show villain. See, an educated Black man who knows his worth is most dangerous Black man there can be.
Even more ridiculous than attacking Randal for not sharing his new position is the notion floating around that he had the job on lock weeks before the finale in Trump's effort to make a token hire. Let us not forget that that this is the same Donald Trump who bought a full page ad in the New York Times calling for the death penatlty for the men accused in the Central Park Jogger rape case (of course, there was no full-page ad pleading mea culpa when DNA evidence led to the overturning of those convictions.) While I don't doubt that Trump's producers looks for people of color (and women for that matter) for the sake of diversity and entertainment (don't you dare tell me Omarosa was on that show because she's some great business mind!), my response to those who speculate that Randal was given his win weeks before the live finale is this: bullshit. If you followed the show, episode by episode, it's undeniable that Randal earned his victory every step of the way. So even if you want to believe that Randal was put on the show out of white liberal guilt, you cannot deny that he won that job fair and square (surprising the hell outta all of 'em in casting.)
Some have argued that Randal could have been more "gracious," but I actually think the way he refused to share the apprenticeship with Rebecca was quite gracious. If he wants to hire Rebecca to work FOR him in a position that fits her experience and skill levels, that would be ideal. But Trump's proposition was to share his position, and this is a business venture where the buck has to stop and start with one. Trump himself has admitted to the media that while he was suprised that Randal shot down the propositio, Randal's independent thinking affirmed that he made the right choice in choosing him over Rebecca. (And unlike some suddenly touchy folks who bizarrely are expecting to witness unprecedent levels of compassion from the competitors of a reality TV game show, I think Randal nixed the proposition gracefully. He did not trash Rebecca, and he used humor to argue compellingly that he was the best, single person for the job.) Now since he has never done this to the White male winners of past seasons, I can only wonder if Trump was testing Randal or not. But he has gone on record saying that he RESPECTS Randal for his unwilligness to share the position. Had Randal given into the emotion of the moment of winning and said, yes, Trump would doubt him now.