Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Clinton Galloway, a Certified Public Accountant with a practice in Marina del Rey, California. He is also a registered securities principal and runs a registered securities broker-dealer licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but moved shortly thereafter with his family to New York City. He attended Northern Arizona University with the assistance of a baseball scholarship. In the late 1970s, after getting his CPA license, he relocated from a large international accounting firm in San Francisco to a major international investment banking firm in Beverly Hills.
He had released his first book titled ‘Anatomy of a Hustle: Cable Comes to South Central Los Angeles’ in 2012. He has recently released his second book, ‘What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?: The Betrayal of South Central.’
What inspired you to get into your current line of work?
I graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in accounting. Upon leaving school, I immediately went to work for a major international accounting firm that had recruited me from college. I worked in the San Francisco office and obtained my CPA license during the time I worked for this firm. During my time with the firm, I learned more about the operations of major businesses and financial institutions than I ever imagined I could learn. When I left this firm, I went to work at the Beverly Hills office of a major international investment firm. My specialty at this firm was the handling of tax-advantaged investments that related to high-income individuals and the ability to defer or delay taxation of income they were receiving. I’ve always worked in the financial services industry and enjoy my work because it relates directly to individuals you work with.
Please tell us more about your journey.
Because accounting is fundamental to the operation of all businesses and industries within the United States, I found myself engaged in many different industries that required the experience that I had. Both accounting and investment experience would become necessary as I did my work in industries such as entertainment, nursing homes, and nonprofit organizations. By providing a high level of service, I believe I was able to enhance the operations of all the businesses that I work for and with. That is the goal of most professionals. It is our job to enhance the abilities of those who have abilities in other areas and help them understand the financial and tax requirements that go with operating businesses and engaging in earning and spending money.
Who are your role models?
My primary role models all of my life have been my parents. They provided me with love and realistic expectations of what goes on in the real world instead of what we would like to see in the real world. My parents were raised in Birmingham, Alabama, during the time when black persons were often without basic and fundamental rights. They managed to get as much education as was available to them and to bring their family to New York as soon as they had an opportunity to get away from the South. This transition allowed them to raise 6 children, 4 of whom earned doctorate degrees. This is quite an accomplishment for the working-class family that was able to achieve their goals through hard work and good citizenship. Hard work is important to accomplish any goal that you seek in life. There will always be competition for whatever it is you want to do. The hard work will help to separate you from a substantial part of the crowd in any industry. Along the path, you’re going to find additional role models in your life. For me, they came in the form of coaches and relationships developed through professional and religious affiliations.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the responsibility that I have during the daily performance of my duties to both my clients and myself. The ability to provide services that enhance my clients’ lives and those I work with provides inspiration that I need to continue to do what I do. In the investment field, my job is to provide capital to those who seek to avail themselves of the opportunities that exist with our society that require money. Often the job I have to do involves others’ dreams because the capital allows them to fulfill those dreams where just the idea by itself cannot be achieved without the influx of capital. The ability to provide capital to those who offer good opportunities is inspirational because it affects so many people – the owners, tenants, employees, and investors. They are all part of a system that provides jobs and economic stimulus within any community.
That’s inspirational! Please tell us more about your book, ‘What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?: The Betrayal of South Central.’
This book chronicles the effects of long-term systemic and institutional racism. Using South-Central Los Angeles as an example, the book chronicles the forty-year process of attempting to provide technology and the effect of the lack of ability to access technology. The extensively documented case shows that the denial of civil rights and technology would lead to the inevitable results that have occurred. This book deals with the cause and effect of the refusal by the City of Los Angeles to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the City. The ruling identified the City’s attempts to limit technology in the City’s poorest areas as a civil rights violation. The complicity of major Black politicians is also explored. The behavior was not limited to Los Angeles but was used in every major city with a large Black population.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, before the growth of the internet, cable television was the newest technology available throughout the United States and the world. It would dramatically change America’s use of television and related industries. The denial would serve to provide long-term negative consequences within the community, including education, poor health, crime, and gangs that have run rampant over the last four decades within South-Central Los Angeles.
Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
I can’t really say there’s anything I wish I knew at any point in time. Knowledge comes with experience, and experience is part of the game. The willingness of politicians to break the law in broad daylight was not really a great surprise. After meeting people in City Hall on two early occasions, it became clear that corruption was a function of LA City Hall.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
The most important factor I found in achieving success in my profession and as I see people in other professions is the basic concept of hard work. It was taught to me at a very young age that if it was easy, anybody could do it. If you want to have special things, you need to work a little bit harder than the average person. Since I come from a family that has always engaged in hard work, I did not see anything unusual about it or find any job demeaning in any way, shape, or form. Conversely, hard work gave me a sense of pride to know that I could work hard to accomplish and achieve whatever goals I establish for myself.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
I was never under any delusion that you could accomplish things and be successful in any field without having some tough and difficult times in reaching your goals. As I previously said, if it was easy, anybody could do it. You don’t want to recognize yourself for doing what anybody could do. If you seek to have success, you must expect there will be hard times. Just as there are good times, there must be hard times for the equation to balance.
Any message for our readers.
I did not write this book with the intention of it being a financial success. Conversely, I expect to lose money for having written this book. That’s okay because I expected that when I started and therefore there is no disappointment. My goal in writing this book is to fulfill the responsibilities I believe I have, as a citizen, to bring a message to the American public and Black America specifically. It is the responsibility of all citizens to question a government that exceeds its authority. With rights go responsibilities. This is the case that I have been faced with for the last 40 years. Legal remedies have been exhausted, and any expectation of participation by the great civil rights organizations and supposedly liberal bastions for society’s protection are not expected.
It is my job to make sure the people know the meaning passed down by the United States Supreme Court in 1986 that allowed for the protection of all the citizens’ civil rights in this country. The willingness of a single federal judge to block the will of the United States Supreme Court is a dangerous precedent to have to bring up to the public. An examination of the events that happened, in this case, will clearly show that this is what happened in Los Angeles during the 1980s and 1990s. The unwillingness to recognize the United States Supreme Court’s rulings would establish Los Angeles as little more than a tyrannical local government. I’ve had the United States Congress go so far as to pass laws that directly restricted the rights we were pursuing in federal court to protect our rights. I consider it an honor that it required an act of Congress to protect a corrupt local government from what it was due.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
Thank you so much for giving us your precious time! We wish you the best for your journey ahead!