As a former Southerner, my first thought is GOOD BYE Ni... But, I like black people.
HD is practical. They don't have arrangements to make contracting with the U. S. Gov't reasonably simple. Worse, the U. S. Gov't wants discounts and troublesome paperwork.
I don't think HD is prejudiced at all.
Why don't you become Home Depot Expeditors and do all the paper work? Then add 1% for your paperwork fee. What would be the problem? You won't make any money - because 1% is not enough to cover the paper work.
<<Is this why GE, BOEING, HONEYWELL, AT&T, MICROSOFT, countless other companies trip all over themselves to get a US GOV'T contract? >>
******* READ THIS CAREFULLY ********
It is because they [GE, Boeing, et al] derive a large percentage of their revenues from the federal government, so it's worthwhile for them to maintain the additional overhead required of federal contracors. Conversely, Home Depot derives a miniscule percentage of it sales from Uncle Sam, so it's not worth it.
It's a simple ROI calculation - what is the Return On Investment of adhering to the federal contractor guidelines relative to the incremental income derived from sales to them. HD calculated that it was a losing proposition. It's pretty simple to comprehend for anyone with even a modest amount of business acumen.