Sunday, November 23, 2008

Black Folks In The White House?

Obamas.jpg

AAPP says: It is wonderful that the Obama Family will be in the White House in just a few more weeks. I'm still glad I voted for him. Now the question is how many blacks, women, latinos, Native Americans, openly Gay and lesbians, and other minorities will be working for our President in the White House?

In 1992, Bill Clinton famously promised to appoint a Cabinet that “looks like me America.” He followed through, tapping women and minorities for high-ranking positions and overseeing an administration more diverse than any that had come before it. More HERE

Barack Obama will nominate individuals to become Secreatary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Veterans Affair, and Secretary of Homeland Security.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune.com, It looks as though Hillary Clinton has accepted an Obama cabinet post. I guess President Elect Obama Cabinet Picks will be Democratic centrist, but generally the same old faces.

Now the question still remains, will blacks and women hold significant cabinet positions in the Barack Obama White House? Will Barack Obama appoint white folks for days—but just a negro here and there. So he won't be seen as 'favoring whites' like one reporter has said?

Here are two views:

As reported by Lisa Lerer of Politico.com, for women the "Early indications that men might dominate the hierarchy of Obama administration have women’s groups worried, even as a growing chorus of advisers reportedly pushes Hillary Rodham Clinton for secretary of state. “There’s definitely been a reaction to the few groups that have been named so far,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. “I agree with those who are concerned that it would have been nice to see more women.” Women’s rights advocates acknowledge it’s still early in the transition process, but they say early staff picks and the lists of rumored Cabinet nominees send the wrong signal. “It’s appropriate that Obama’s vetting Clinton, but she’s one women,” said Amy Siskind, co-founder of The New Agenda, a nonpartisan women's rights group founded by former Clinton supporters. “We want to see parity in the representation of women in the Cabinet.”

Some women’s rights advocates believe the new administration is conducting a broad search across a diverse pool of candidates.

The Obama transition team asked NOW to send suggestions of qualified female candidates, according to Gandy. “The transition team is going to take the time to look at and vet the people they don’t know,” she said. “Because frankly, the people who are already well-known in Washington tend to be men and tend to be white.” The early teams released by the Obama administration have tended to be male-dominated. On Wednesday, four women and eight men were named to Obama’s transition advisory board. His agency review team is headed by seven women and thirteen men. And last week, Obama met with his key economic advisers — four women and 13 men.

So far, Obama has named four members of his top White House staff. Three are men – chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, press secretary Robert Gibbs and chief congressional liaison Phil Schiliro. And one is a woman – senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Additionally, Vice President-elect Joe Biden has named Ron Klain as his chief of staff.

The senior staff assisting with the transition is more evenly divided, with Jarrett, a mentor and close friend one of the three top aides overseeing it. While Obama has not made any Cabinet appointments, the names that are circulating have worried some in the women’s rights community.

“I have been struck by how few women have been mentioned for high-level positions,” said former Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin, who worked on the Clinton transition. “It’s still very early, so I don’t want to reach conclusions yet. But the rumors are a flashing yellow light.”

AAPP: Now to the issue of blacks in an Obama Cabinet, Check out what Debra Dickerson at Mother Jones Maga has to say:

The Wall Street Journal ran a cheat sheet of the powerful blacks who may wind up in the Obama administration. But check this:

Of those hoping for access and government stints, some may be disappointed. Loyalties aside, Mr. Obama, according to people familiar with his thinking, may be constrained in the number of blacks he appoints to avoid any charges of favoring African-Americans.

So, he can appoint white folks for days—but just a Negro here and there. Why won't that be seen as 'favoring whites'?

A white reporter covering a small town, McCain-area called me post-election for comment, appalled at hearing whites in the local diner angrily fretting about being demoted to the back of the bus, the Muslim Obama giving their hard-earned money to "those who refuse to work," etc. Don't worry white folks: Situation normal. A brother may be president, but he's still got to eenie-meenie-miney-mo among us blacks, his own judgment be damned. And of course, he wouldn't be the President-elect if he didn't understand these things. But it still sucks.

Whenever blacks find themselves in a group larger than three or four at work, invariably someone will 'joke:' "Better break this up. More than four and the white folks get nervous." I guess that joke ain't going anywhere. And I bet Obama's administration will blacker than any other in history but that won't take much, will it? An under-secretary here, a deputy assistant there, and soon you've got yet another quarter-step toward full equality.

But it's all good. Obama Won. I can wait a little longer. More HERE

AAPP: I agree with Debra Dickerson, its appears that Barack Obama will appoint white folks for days —but just a Negro here and there. So he won't be seen as 'favoring whites.' that's too bad though. Come on now folks, you know unqualified whites have been favored for key post for years, why not favor the best qualified regardless of race, many whom are black?

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

You're right. Obama cannot discriminate against Black people in order to mollify whites. He needs to nominate and appoint at least as many minorities and women as Bill Clinton did.

Women are looking at his teams and saying that they're dominated by men, typically by a ratio of three or four to one. That's unacceptable. And most of the men are white men so far.

Holder as AG and Richardson at Treasury are good first steps, but it seems that (Black) Kenneth Chenault of American Express is being ignored, in spite of his many years of experience as the CEO there.

Just an example.