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Black mothers literally dying for their children in the World Bank

Black mothers literally dying for their children in the World Bank

A call for the resignation of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim


2016-03-16, Issue 766

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Dr. Kim has taken an uncompromising stance protecting violators of human rights and denying their victims access to justice, even in the most egregious cases involving those who are battling cancer and depression. Dr. Kim has only one honourable thing to do: Resign. If he fails, the Bank’s Board of Governors should force him out.

The World Bank is a very powerful agency. Its power comes from two sources. Its immunity from lawsuits and its visa office that can give and take away US G4 visa to an expatriate staff and his/her family in the snap of a finger.

An African staff, who was simultaneously battling racial discrimination and breast cancer that ultimately took her life, was advised by her close friends to leave her job at the World Bank to avoid stress and focus her energy on beating the cancer. Her answer was that "The Bank will cancel my G4 visa. I cannot uproot my children from their school and friends."

Voluminous scientific research has linked racial discrimination to various ailments including cancer, including at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University and the National Health Institute in the US, and Royal Free and University College Medical Schools in the UK.

In April 2015, Dr. E. Faye Williams, Chair, National Congress for Black Women, wrote to the World Bank Board of Governors about the "sustained racial discrimination against Black women and the impact it has on their health."

She noted that numerous women had complained to the DC Civil Rights Coalition about the stressful environment that people of African origin work under. She further revealed that "two of the women who testified before the Coalition alleged that they were fighting breast cancer caused by chronic stress they endured over a long period of time."

On December 4, 2015, the NY Black Star News published the story of Dr. Kim's former personal assistant, Marline Alexis, who had a racial discrimination case against the president. She, too, was fighting racism while battling cancer that claimed her life. Her lawyer, Stephen C. Schott, stated that "There was a question as to whether the stress was a contributing factor in her illness."


I.1. The link between long-term racial discrimination and cancer

World Bank president Dr. Jim Yong Kim is not only a Harvard-trained physician, but he was also a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). He is acutely aware of the large body of research that HSPH has produced linking racial discrimination to high blood pressure, asthma, obesity, cancer, and death.

In a memo addressed to "the community of HSPH", Dr. Julio Frenk , the Dean of HSPH, summarized the issue succinctly: "Simply stated, racism is a public health problem that contributes to higher levels of stress, greater exposure to risk factors, and ultimately to excess levels of disease, disability and death."

I.2. Racial discrimination in the World Bank is endemic

In 1979, the Africa Study Group report acknowledged that "Allegations of racial discrimination at the Bank Group have been documented since 1971."

In 1998, the Team for Racial Equality that was created by former president Wolfensohn noted that, "The findings of three previous World Bank studies (1979, 1992, and 1997) send a clear message - race based discrimination is present in our institution. The problem is serious indeed." The report revealed "cultural prejudice among some managers, who rated Africans as inferior" and reiterated the findings of the three earlier studies that the Bank segregated Blacks in the Africa region.

Since then numerous World Bank and Staff Association studies have reiterated the same findings in 2003, 2005, 2007 2009 and 2015. On a sliding scale of 1 to 6 (ranked most racist to most racially inclusive), the 2015 report found the Bank "hovering between 2 and 3." Institutions in stage 1 are considered outright racist. Institutions tittering between stages 2 and 3 "see racial and cultural differences as deficit," according to the report. The report further reaffirmed what has been affirmed time and again: "Some staff referred to their assignment as [a] kind of apartheid."

I.3. Victims of racial discrimination are denied access to justice

Because of the Bank's immunity from lawsuits, the only legal venue available to victims of racial discrimination is the World Bank Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal's batting record on racial discrimination challenges is 100 percent "summary dismissal."

In 1998, the Bank’s internal Grievance Process Review Committee and the World Bank Team for Racial Equality independently concluded that the Bank's internal justice system is neither independent nor impartial. Each recommended using external arbitration for racial discrimination disputes. Their findings and recommendations were echoed by a 1999 US government report.

A 2003 World Bank report noted that "Racial bias or prejudice has been experienced at work during the last two years by 21% of the respondents." This, the report noted, "may be an underreported occurrence, as only a small percentage of those who have had such experience say they have sought help."

In 2005, a Staff Association report revealed that, in just five years, over 450 racial discrimination claims were filed to the office of the Senior Advisor for Racial Equality. The Association's July/August 2005 Newsletter revealed that the majority of the staff "will never use" the internal justice system for racial discrimination claims.

In 2009, an extensive report by the Government Accountability Project (GAP) documented: "It appears that staff members of black African heritage who allege racial discrimination are unlikely to receive the compensation or vindication they seek before the Tribunal. In contrast, complainants of other races who allege racial discrimination or Applicants claiming reverse discrimination have better prospects for compensation awards."

In 2010, the Staff Association Chair speaking for the Association's Executive Committee wrote to an aggrieved staff: "The [Staff Association] Executive Committee met and deliberated at length, taking into account the significant supporting documentation you had kindly shared with us... The case shows that a number of aspects of the Bank's internal justice system are broken."

In 2015, the DC Civil Rights Coalition wrote a letter to Dr. Kim noting that "there is overwhelming evidence that the Tribunal willfully and systematically suppresses material evidence" and "uses different judicial standards for Black and non-Black complainants."

In January 2016, the 2015 Staff Association Update on the Internal Justice Services (IJS) noted: "It is common to hear from staff that “Our IJS is broken.” Many staff report to us that they have had difficulty getting a resolution, that the playing field is not level, or that merely entering the IJS gets individuals branded as trouble-makers or, worse, subject to retaliation. As a result, manny staff don’t want to enter the IJS in the first place."


Since Dr. Kim joined the Bank, he has used his ethnic minority status and close relationship with President Obama and the Clintonsas a shield to fend off his critics. One thing is clear - the problem has gotten worse on his watch.

II.1. The Kim Administration's overt race-based double standard

Soon after Dr Kim took the helm of the Bank, he forced three powerful white women to leave the Bank. Two (a British Managing Director and an Italian VP) were dismissed and the third (an American senior VP) was forced to retire. Each woman received significant financial compensation through mediation. One got a five-year lump-sum salary plus relocation grant and severance payment, totaling nearly $2 million.

By comparison, an African man was threatened with termination and automatic cancelation of his G4 visa and forced to mediate for $25,000 lump sum plus paid administrative leave for 10 months. The Bank automatically gives two months of paid administrative leave. His 8 months of additional administrative leave and the $25,000 lump sum do not even add up to a one-year average salary of his GF pay grade. Adding insult to injury, he was unjustly denied severance payment that he had vested and was entitled to. It should be noted that the above mentioned white ladies were given their severance payments.

II.2. Unjust directive issued from Dr. Kim's front office

The racial injustice under Dr. Kim is perpetrated by the very people that he has put in charge of addressing the problem, namely his former chief of staff, Yvonne Tsikata (who was promoted to VP in January), and his HR vice president, Sean McGgrath.

This is evident in an ongoing racial discrimination case that has become the rallying cry of Justice for Blacks (a group consisting of current and past World Bank employees) and the DC Civil Rights Coalition (a coalition including five of America's prominent civil rights groups).

An Ethiopian, Yonas Biru, was wrongfully terminated after he filed a racial discrimination claim. The Bank denied him a six-digit severance payment that he has vested and was entitled to after his termination, citing Staff Rule 11.04. The Rule stipulates that, "A staff member separated for reasons of unsatisfactory performance is not entitled to severance payments."

The Tribunal found that his termination was "unlawful , capricious, and an abuse of discretion" and instructed the Bank to remove all references to "unsatisfactory performance" from his personnel files. Nonetheless, it ruled that he should not be reinstated because "he had criticized his managers."

The Bank in turn refused to pay him his severance payment, even after its claim of "poor performance" was rejected by the Tribunal.

When Biru wrote to Dr. Kim, Tsikata intervened and sent an email to the HR vice president, requesting him to send the aggrieved staff "a final email" that the Bank "will not be responding further on this [issue]."

Within minutes Tsikata realized that she had inadvertently copied the aggrieved staff. She sent Biru an email to "recall" her email in a futile attempt to officially withdraw the damaging evidence that linked the denial of his rightful severance payment to Dr. Kim's front office.

Paying heed to Tsikata's request, an HR lead officer sent Biru an email to tell him that he would never get his severance payment and the Bank would not be responding further to him on this issue.

II.3. Dr. Kim would not meet with American national civil rights leaders

Civil rights leaders, led by Reverend Jesse Jackson, wrote to Dr. Kim requesting a meeting to discuss a 29-page proposal that the DC Civil Rights Coalition had sent him to address the endemic racial problem.

Tsikata called Reverend Jesse Jackson's office to inform him that President Kim would be happy to meet with him and other national civil rights leaders, but insisted that they needed to drop Biru's case from their agenda. Reverend Jackson's officers told her that they were not prepared to do that and the meeting never happened.

It should be noted that Dr. Kim has met with LGBT and gender equality advocates without any precondition.

In a letter to the Bank's Board of Governors, Dr. Williams, a member of the civil rights coalition, criticized the Bank's continued refusal to discuss Biru's case with civil rights leaders. She noted that it is a deliberate attempt to avoid addressing the root cause of the Bank's endemic racism - lack of accountability even in the most egregious cases.

II.4. The cover up is worse than the crime

In a brazen attempt to cover up the seriousness of the problem and to undermine the need for urgent and fundamental reforms, the HR complex tampered with the 2015 World Bank diversity report. This led to the withdrawal of the name of the independent expert from the report. This is unprecedented in the Bank's history.

Three independent reports have been prepared over the last three years all commissioned by the Kim administration. The diversity report is the only one without the name of the independent author. Even though the sanitized report is sufficient to prove the presence of systemic racism, one wonders how bad the unvarnished report must have been.

Moreover, Juliana Oyegun, the bank's former director of diversity, who had served four presidents, including Dr. Kim, revealed that the diversity data that has been produced by HR "is fudged now for obfuscation whereas in the past it had been scrubbed for transparency, accuracy, depth and rigor. Now it is toyed with and massaged for optics. So sad…”

The most serious cover-up is the Bank's attempt to bribe civil rights leaders to drop Biru's case from the civil rights coalition's agenda. There is documented evidence that the Bank promised the president of the DC branch of one of the civil rights organizations financial rewards if he succeeded in removing Biru's name from the civil rights coalitions agenda.

II.5. The Bank' reforms are mere "show and tell" exercises

Grammar school children are often encouraged to bring their best toys to the classroom to show them to the class and tell their stories. Since 1979, the Bank's reforms have been mere "show and tell."

Since 1979, the Bank has created over a dozen committees, working groups, and external advisory boards, all as part of the "show and tell" strategy to show its often advertised, but never exercised commitment to change. Three of them were established by Dr. Kim in 2015: External Advisory Board; The President's Council for Diversity; and Diversity and Inclusion Advocates.

Dr. Kim has also made it a habit to promote Africans to senior management positions weeks before the Board of Governors meet in Washington as part of his administration's "show and tell" progress report, while vehemently rejecting all calls for access to justice.


The very independent study that Dr. Kim commissioned has identified "blatant and virulent" cases of racism and found the Bank "lacking of accountability to discriminated groups." It noted that institutions such as the World Bank are all about "symbolic changes" and went on to conclude that the Bank would not make "substantive progress in eliminating subtle as well as overt expression of racism unless more systemic changes are made."

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Article 7 stipulates all individuals are entitled to equal protection before the law, while Article 8 declares that everyone has the right to an effective remedy for acts violating fundamental rights."

Dr. Kim has taken an uncompromising stance protecting violators of human rights and denying their victims access to justice, even in the most egregious cases and even to those who are battling cancer and depression.

His administration has compared an African staff to animal in official report, told another African his personnel record was too good to be true for an African and disenfranchised him of his hard-earned lifelong professional identity, and successfully defended its breathtakingly unjust actions before its handmaiden Tribunal.

Dr. Kim has one honorable action to take: Resign. Should he refuse to do so, the Board of Governors have moral and institutional obligations to force his resignation.

* The author of this article requested that his name be withheld.



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World Bank compares African staff to animal in official report

Obama's and Hillary Clinton's appointee shielded from gross racial discrimination charges

Yonas Biru

2016-02-16, Issue 762

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Under president Kim, racism against black staff has worsened at the World Bank. He is the first president to be personally accused of racial discrimination. But as an elite member of the Democratic Party, Kim, appointed by President Obama with the endorsement of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, enjoys political protection to continue his nefarious ways.

Imagine the third largest employer in the nation's capital characterizing one of its African employees as an animal in an official report. His lawyer, Peter C. Hansen, demanded the "shameful" report that contained "the most galling... overtly racist... anti-African stereotypes" be removed from the record. The organization not only rejected the request, but its Administrative Tribunal felt obliged to let the lawyer know that the "tone and confrontational nature" of his pleadings did not go unnoticed.

The organization terminated the African and made it clear that he could have avoided termination “if [he] had spent a little bit more time and energy listening to his manager and co-workers, and a little bit less energy preparing his case with his attorney." This is not a tale of bygone years, but a case from November 2015.

Imagine further that the organization does not accept medical certificates as evidence for emotional pain from people of African origin, but accepts from people of other races. This issue has been the subject ofan]]an open letter to Pope Francis by Reverend Jesse Jackson and four articles by different civil rights advocates in 2015. Another African American civil rights leader, Dr. E. Faye Williams wrote that the World Bank Tribunal "treats Sub-Saharan Africans as physiologically and psychologically different, if not inferior.”

The same organization told another African of Ethiopian heritage that his 17-year official record was too good to be true for an African and needed to be degraded. This was done to disqualify him from becoming the global manager of a high-profile international program.

The explanation was that the organization "regrets" having given him "overinflated" performance evaluations over the course of his career and this "had the unintended consequence of feeding into his megalomaniacal" expectations to become the head of a global program that requires cooperation with Europe.

In 2014, the DC chapters of the NAACP, the National Urban League, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the National Action Network, and the National Congress for Black Women, among others, formed a coalition and submitted a four-point agenda to the president of the organization. Top on the list was a request to address the Ethiopian's case. Soon enough, some of the coalition members buckled under political pressure and dropped out. Some of them proved extortionist - more on this below.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) that had written to the Ethiopian that it was asking the Obama administration "to take action" and that his case "in particular was being addressed" caved under the weight of political pressure. Twenty-four of the 46-member CBC who had already signed a petition retracted their signatures in unison.

This is as much a narrative of endemic racism in one organization as it is an expose of the Democratic Party, whose repulsion to, and tolerance for, racial injustice is guided by who the perpetrator is rather than by what is perpetrated.


The perpetrator in this case is Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the current president of the World Bank and an elite member of the Democratic Party. In 2012, President Obama appointed Dr. Kim to the helm of the World Bank on the recommendation of Secretary Clinton and the urging of President Clinton.

World Bank critics saw Dr. Kim as a "Clintonian plant" to benefit the Clinton Foundation, whose primary mission is "to improve global health." The concern was that the Harvard-trained physician will pivot the Bank's focus toward health crisis management, away from its mandate on economics and finance.

Three years into Dr. Kim's presidency, a retired World Bank senior official, Paul Cadario, wondered "Why does Dr. Kim get to just focus on health, health, health?" Professor William Easterly of NYU stated: “[Kim] is really the first World Bank president who thinks of the Bank as being primarily about relief rather than development.”

Under Dr. Kim the Bank's operational priorities overlap to a far more significant degree with those of the Clinton Foundation than under previous World Bank presidents. The growing common space has accorded the Clinton Foundation leverage to create a multiplier effect in resources and outcomes. If this is the quid for the Clintons, the quo for Dr. Kim is a membership card for the Mecca of the Democratic Party's bastion of power.

What has provoked more widespread criticism against Dr. Kim is that racial discrimination has gotten worse under him. He is the first World Bank president to be personally accused of racial discrimination, including by his personal assistant, the late Marline Alexis.

According to an investigative article that appeared in the December 4, 2015 issue of The NY Black Star News, Dr. Kim pushed out Alexis, a Haitian, and gave her position to his former Caucasian assistant at Dartmouth College.

He gave his former assistant a professional position even though her test results administered by the Bank's HR complex had placed her at a secretarial level. This, the article noted, meant paying her "$60,000 more than the pay scale she qualified for after the test and $30,000 more than Alexis, who had far more experience."

The former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz (President Bush's appointee) was forced to resign after he gave his girlfriend a $60,000 salary hike. A regular golf partner to President Obama and a stealth benefactor to the Clinton Foundation, Dr. Kim is protected under the political "Iron Dome" of two Democratic Party bosses.

New York Rep. Gregory Meeks, chair of the CBC Political Action Committee (PAC), the most authoritative Black PAC to endorse Secretary Clinton's presidential campaign, is one of the defenders of Dr. Kim. On October 21, 2015, the Congressman issued a press release applauding Dr. Kim's "successful efforts" to address diversity issues. The press release also carried CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield's superfluous praise to Dr. Kim.

Phyllis Muhammad, co-chair of Justice for Blacks (an organization of former and current World Bank staffers) found the "undeserved accolades groundless hyperbole at best, or an unqualified endorsement of the systemic dehumanization of African American staff and other people of color at worst."

Her statements reflect the general sentiment of the World Bank staff. Only 6 percent of the 12,000 plus staff that took part in the Bank's 2015 Staff Engagement Survey "strongly agreed" that Kim's administration is "taking action to improve diversity and inclusion." This is the worst result in the Bank's history.

Justice for Blacks’ attempt to get support from Black Lives Matter (BLM) to bring the injustice to the American public proved ill-fated. The BLM leader of the DC, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) chapter, who freelances as an advocate for justice, charged the group a monthly fee of $1,200. Though he signed the contract in his capacity as an independent consultant, he is on the record that as part of the campaign "BLM-DMV is willing to push out any material and can definitely release a statement in support." It proved to be a scam.

The DC Chapter of Reverend Al Sharpton's organization (NAN-DC) required members of Justice for Blacks to pay two years of membership dues in advance and then contribute more before the civil rights organization brought the issue to the attention of other civil rights leaders and formed the DC Civil Rights Coalition to fight the injustice.

Dr. Kim's approach to deal with the Coalition was a mix of political pressure and financial incentives. The Bank promised NAN-DC financial rewards if it succeeded in convincing the Coalition to drop the Ethiopian's case.

Indeed, NAN-DC tried to drop the Ethiopian's case, but its efforts were rejected by the coalition. The Bank turned its focus on the Greater Washington Urban League and successfully used the civil rights organization's corporate board of directors to pressure it to dial down its campaign against the Bank.

As part of the counter-offensive, a US Treasury official called Rainbow PUSH Coalition to discourage Reverend Jackson's campaign to block US funding to the World Bank. The campaign was pursuant to a 2012 Appropriations Act that requires the US to block its financial support to the World Bank until it agrees to use external arbitration.

The Treasury's intervention was incredible on many levels. First, having extensively reviewed the Ethiopian's case it had determined that his request for external arbitration was "warranted." Second, the Treasury is entrusted by Congress with enforcing the very law that it tried to undermine.

Reverend Jackson rejected the Treasury's request and published two open letters to President Obama urging him to instruct the Treasury to enforce the law. The letter focused on the Ethiopian case to show the excesses of the Bank's systemic racism and the denial of access to justice that the US Treasury is a part of.

The injustice that the Ethiopian endured triggered an unprecedented intervention by members of both Houses of Congress, and several World Bank Board of Directors, including the Dean of the Board and the US Director. Though his case began before Dr. Kim came to power, what Dr. Kim has done to cover it up is unprecedented.


The Ethiopian was the Deputy Global Manager of a high-profile international program with "outstanding/best practice" performance ratings. Nonetheless, the Bank denied him promotion to become the global manager of the program alleging that "Europeans [were] not used to seeing a black man in a position of power.”

The Bank's peer review system (PRS) determined that he was "tenured, talented and qualified" for the position. It found "no business reason" to justify management's actions and "strongly" recommended “the Bank take immediate measures” and “immediately enter into binding mediation."

Vehemently determined to deny the Ethiopian the global manager position, the Bank claimed that his record upon which the PRS decision was based was "overinflated" and "hagiographic" - too good to be true.

To correct its "regretful mistake" of having given the Ethiopian stellar performance ratings that established his qualification for the global manager position, the Bank recanted his 17-year record. It went as far as removing his deputy global manager title from its publications and website and obliterating his stellar record.

Because of the Bank's immunity from lawsuits, the only recourse the Ethiopian had was filing a complaint with an internal Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal ruled that the Bank's actions were justified by business reasons. This contradicted the Tribunal's confidential email that referred to the Bank as "dishonest" (the Ethiopian was copied inadvertently).

To top it off, the Bank terminated the Ethiopian and refused to pay him a six-figure severance payment that he had vested and to which he was entitled. The Tribunal reviewed his termination case separately and found it "unlawful and capricious." Nonetheless, it decided not to rescind because "He had criticized his managers."

One of the Tribunal judges, Francis Ssekandi, professor of law at Columbia University, sent the Ethiopian a note, admitting that his protest against the Bank's race-based manager selection process was "what has led to [his] current situation." The judge said he did not agree with the judgment, but did not dissent because he "was not ready to take such a momentous step" of upsetting the apple cart.

Judge Ssekandi's advice about the disenfranchisement of the Ethiopian's hard-earned lifelong professional identity was to "let bygones be bygones and try once again to rebuild [his] life and career" - from the ground up.

In 2014, under relentless external pressure the Kim administration notified the Ethiopian that the deleted sections of his managerial accomplishments "will be scanned into [his] staff record." However, the Bank would neither confirm his managerial record to prospective employers, nor withdraw the defamatory record from its website.

Withdrawing the falsified record from the public domain would entail reviewing the Tribunals judgment that was based on the falsified record. Dr. Kim is fully aware of the fact that the record was falsified to deny a well-qualified African from holding a high-profile leadership position.

Currently the Bank has two records. The restored internal record shows the Ethiopian as "Internationally praised for his many skills... He carried a heavy load as Deputy Global Manager with multiple roles in the Bank's global management work, managing one of the most critical programs the Bank has ever managed."

In particular, the restored record gives the Ethiopian credit for "developing the global program's strategic framework; broadening the scope of its global partnership; and overseeing the implementation of the program in Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East, etc."

The record presently on the Bank's website falsely asserts: "He had no management responsibility... He lacked core competency... lacked international credibility... and he is hard to work with, etc"


The Ethiopian was left with no choice but to file an appeal with the Tribunal. Dr. Kim's administration filed a motion to dismiss it on three grounds:

• "Allegations of due process violations by the Tribunal are not cognizable" under the Bank's justice system. Therefore, Judge Ssekandi's confession of due process violation has no legal weight.

• The Bank will not confirm the Ethiopian's managerial credentials because it is "not in the business of painting a hagiographic image of him." The internally restored record is too-good-to-be-true to confirm.

• The Bank opposes any attempt by the Tribunal to remove the falsified record that formed the basis of its original judgment because it does not have jurisdiction to revise its rulings.

The Tribunal's judgment is best described by Frank Watkins, of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, in a revealing article titled "World Bank Tribunal Rules a Black Man Has No Rights to His Professional Identity."

Though the Ethiopian's case received worldwide attention and was a subject of over a dozen articles, it is by no means an isolated case. During its November 2015 session, the Tribunal reviewed numerous complaints filed by Sub Saharan Africans, including two against Dr. Kim's vice president for change, Sanjay Pradhan.

In one of the cases against Mr. Pradhan, the Tribunal found "substantive and procedural" violations of the Bank's Staff Rules "to the detriment of" an African staff's career that led to her termination. Nonetheless, the Tribunal ruled that her reinstatement is neither practical nor warranted.

This is despite the Tribunal's findings that the staff in question had "consistently operated at a higher level than her GE level position would call for" and her manager believed that "she is thoughtful, makes important contributions and her insights stand out from her peers." The case exposes the Bank's corporate lies that attributes the underrepresentation of African women in the Bank's professional ranks to "the lack of qualified candidates."

In a previous decision that involved a staff of Korean origin, the Tribunal had instructed the Bank to reinstate her after it found that her termination was the result of "substantive and procedural" violation of Staff Rules by her managers.

The aggrieved African has no legal basis to contest the Tribunal's judicial double standard. As noted above, Dr. Kim's administration has successfully argued in 2015 that the Tribunal cannot be held accountable for due process violations.


The second case against Mr. Pradhan is more revealing of the Bank's reckless racism. An African staff was waiting for the decision of the PRS that was reviewing his complaint of wrongful placement on probation. After a long deliberation, the PRS sent its decision to Mr. Pradhan, but not to the African complainant.

Mr. Pradhan withheld the decision and gave the African an ultimatum to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to leave the Bank without seeing the PRS decision or face termination. The termination threat was based on allegations that he had not met the conditions of his probation. The PRS review was supposed to determine whether his placement on probation was justified in the first place.

The African's request to see the PRS decision was denied. He had no choice but to sign the MOU, which allowed him time to remain in the US on an administrative leave on a World Bank sponsored visa until his children finished the school year. The alternative would have been uprooting his family and leaving the US.

During his administrative leave, the African filed a complaint with the Tribunal. The Tribunal agreed with him that he was "entitled to receive the results" of the PRS decision and instructed the Bank to give him a copy. Nonetheless, it ruled: "regardless of the [PRS] result he is barred from future challenges to the termination of his employment...The MOU does not change the fact that the Applicant mutually agreed to separate from the Bank."

This is how the Tribunal has rejected every racial discrimination claim filed by Sub Saharan Africans.

Dr. Kim's claim that the Tribunal is independent and he has no control over its judgments is a well-worn canard. It is his administration that compared an African with an animal in an official document and defended its action before the Tribunal in 2015.

It is his administration that requested the Tribunal to sustain its race-based judicial double standard, arguing that the Tribunal cannot be held accountable for due process violations - the cornerstone of equality before the law.

All the Tribunal had done is grant his administration what it had requested. He who pays the piper calls the tune!


All the aforementioned stories involved Sub Saharan Africans. Readers may wonder how African Americans fare. African Americans are virtually banished from the Bank's professional and managerial ranks. In 1978, an op-ed piece in the Washington Post found only three African Americans out of 691 American professionals in the Bank's headquarters in Washington DC. In 2009, the number was four out of over 1,000. By comparison, in 2009 there were over 500 African professionals, not counting staff assistants.

The Bank understands that it cannot treat African Americans the way it treats Africans without triggering an internal revolt and/or risking strong reactions from the US government. This is not to say that African Americans in the World Bank are not discriminated against. They are. The point is that their population is controlled to make sure that they will not reach a critical mass to challenge the racial status quo.

The absence of a large number of African Americans in the Bank has made it easier politically for the Obama administration and the CBC to protect Dr. Kim.

That race is a matter of politics, not of moral righteousness or of justice for the liberal establishment is evident in the liberal media's deafening silence, despite concerted media outreach efforts by the DC Civil Rights Coalition. By comparison, the Coalition's clergy outreach resulted in a petition that was signed by leaders and representatives of over 500 faith-based organization.

Considering the Obama administration's politically-motivated failure to enforce the law of the land, the onus rests on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to enforce the Appropriations Act. The Committees also owe American taxpayers an investigation into whether their tax dollars were used to bribe Reverend Sharpton's organization.

The issue is personal to this author. He is the Ethiopian in the story. Somehow, talking about his ordeal in the third person makes the pain a bit more distant and a bit more tolerable.

* Yonas Biru can be contacted at:



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"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









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