Lia Eustachewich, New York Post, September 25, 2018
An insurance agent claims he should qualify as a minority business owner, because a DNA test shows he’s 4 percent African — enough, he believes, to make him “a certified black man.”
Ralph Taylor knows on the outside he looks like an average white guy, but he is trying using the results from his AncestryByDNA test to bolster his business in Lynnwood, Washington.
The 2010 test showed that he’s 90 percent European, 6 percent indigenous American and 4 percent sub-Saharan African.
“I’m a certified black man. I’m certified black in all 50 states,” he said. “But the federal government doesn’t recognize me.”
Taylor is now in the midst of a legal battle with Washington state and the federal government for ultimately denying him the minority business owner qualification for his Orion Insurance Group. The designation would give him a leg up in nabbing government contracts.
In 2013, Taylor used his DNA results to try to get his business certified with Washington’s Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises — but officials there said he wasn’t a “visibly identifiable” minority, the Seattle Times reported.
Taylor won his appeal and, in 2014, his application for minority status was approved.
After he went on to apply for certification with the US Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, the federal agency asked for more proof of his background.
He told them he was a member of the NAACP and subscribed to Ebony magazine — and provided his DNA results, as well as a 1916 death certificate for a black woman who he claimed was kin. But officials couldn’t determine whether he was related to her.
He was officially denied the federal certification in June 2014.
“It is nonsensical for Mr. Taylor to claim that he has encountered social and economic disadvantage due to a heritage he was not aware of until the DNA test conducted in 2010,” a DBE employee wrote in a letter.