Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Where Are Barack Obama's High Profile African American Campaign Advisors And Staffers?

The hiring patterns in Barack Obama's campaign is becoming truly troubling. Where are the black people? Where are the black women? Where are the young black people? Where is the representation of the folks that have committed nearly 90% of their vote? Where are the up and coming black folks in American politics? Why isn't Obama looking for the best and the brightest amongst his biggest supporters?

The other major step to making change in American politics is making different hires outside of the traditional Washington D.C. mold. Changing the decades long political thinking of America means hiring folks that have different experiences and ideals. If Obama doesn't hire folks like that, who will? I did not think it was too much to expect Obama to have a visible contingency of people of color working on his campaign, but apparently it is and that is extremely disappointing.

One of things that excited me about Obama candidacy was that I envisioned young people of color getting the same opportunities that young white folks have gotten all these years in Washington, D.C. How many white, under 40-something have worked high profile positions for the Clinton and the Bush campaigns and presidencies? Who knew who George Stephanopoulos was before Bill Clinton tabbed him for a position in his campaign? Many of the big names in Democratic politics now got their start as unknowns with Bill Clinton, why isn't Barack Obama doing the same with people of color?

I have been reeling since a white woman was hired to be Michelle Obama's chief of staff. Did Obama consider giving Terri Williams or Donna Brazile a call? Why isn't Michelle Obama being surrounded by the most diverse staff as possible to show her appeal to all kinds of women? And considering that Michelle Obama's professional work dealt with diversity, she of all people should know the importance of diversity.

Surely, after the so-called necessary hiring of experienced political insiders, the pandering hires of former Clinton staffers, there will be some jobs left for highly educated and highly motivated people of color on the Obama campaign. I hope!


Mari-Djata July 8, 2008 at 6:55 PM  

This is only one of the many grievances that I have with the Obama camp. Who are they trying to represent? Not the Americans who are giving their votes --that's for sure. I just can't see anything too positive coming out of his presidency in the way of racial relations (George Bush at least has had two black secretaries of state... what can we say about a black --biracial, whatever-- man who won't hire an assortment of his constitutents?

Anonymiss July 8, 2008 at 10:29 PM  

You raise a good point. He's not walking the walk.

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] July 9, 2008 at 8:45 PM  

Ironically, my ex is Obama's National Political Director, and he's black...there are several black staffers in high power on his campaign as well....



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