"Actions speak louder than words" - or even financial pledges.

It is interesting to see among the companies who have pledged financial support for the $8 million James Earl Ray Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum, is Autozone:

Can this be the same Autozone, who in September 2000 were sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Council for discriminating against black and female applicants in hiring and promotions.

The lawsuit alleged "a pattern and practice of discrimination" and charged that the company "acted with malice or reckless indifference" to the rights of black and female employees.

The statistics cited show:

Over a two year period, the following official/manager positions were filled.
Vacant Positions 59
Positions filled by black applicants 0
A position as Project manager was filled by a white male applicant with less than three months experience. Unfortunately, a black male applicant with a bachelor's degree in building construction technology and six months experience was unsuccessful.

Number of male service workers hired 19
Number of female service workers hired 1
A female applicant with 12 years experience was turned down in favor of a man with no prior experience.

Number of technicians hired by Autozone 64
Number of female technicians hired 17
A position of technical writer was filled by a man with no experience, instead of a female applicant with "extensive experience".

The EEOC is seeking a permanent injunction outlining policies and programs that would stop any further discrimination.

So, is Autozone offering some kind of token gesture to the NCRM for alleged past misdemeanors? Or are they desperate to improve the public's perception of Autozone - It is interesting to read a leaflet from the NCRM which states "Today...racial struggles persist ." They certainly appear to do at Autozone.

Either way, this kind of corporate sponsorship merely underlines the fact that the NCRM will accept money from any quarter to help finance this $8 million mistake.