Monday, November 24, 2008

How Long Before Barack Obama Gets Flak For Appointing Too Many Black Folks And Too Many Women To Jobs In The White House?

Desiree Rogers - First African American Social Secretary. Check her out on Brightcove.

I am excited about the pick of Melody Barnes as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. Isn't it wonderful to think that domestic policy will be a primary focus in the White House for the first time in 8 years!

I'm still hoping that Susan Rice is named National Security Advisor.

Depressing thought to go with all the joy of a big group of soul sisters heading to the White House - What do Desiree Rogers, Melody Barnes, Valerie Jarrett, Mona Sutsphen all have in common? No husbands! What is it saying about black folks that high-powered, well-educated, well-connected black women remain single?

And eight years as the most high profile single black woman in the White House didn't help Condi Rice in the marriage department either. She went in single and will come out that way as well. Damn!


Phi Sister November 24, 2008 at 5:17 PM  

Maybe they don't want husbands. Or maybe they have wives/girlfriends and are quiestly gay a la Wanda Sykes?

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog November 24, 2008 at 5:36 PM  

I don't know what to say about their single status. I hope they're not part of the "Holding Out for a Black Man" club otherwise they may never marry. As for the complaining about the appointments: first it was where da Black people at, now it's gonna be 'too many'?! Whatever. 5-6 people out of 30-40 appointments or whatever it ends up is not a lot.

Miriam November 24, 2008 at 6:27 PM  

these folks need to get married and start reproducing already! lol

I wish them luck.

Also, I wonder how would a WM take to being "under" young and black Barrack?

Dr. Tracey Salisbury November 24, 2008 at 6:50 PM  

@Phi Sister -

You have a point, but I was thinking more along the best and the brightest track. No husbands for high powered black women, often times means no children, no children means no family legacy with all the education, power, prestige, and money. Something to think about.

@Faith -

Sorry I have to disagree. I never thought that anywhere from 7-10 black women would end up with major white house appointments. Another 7-10 could be white women, Hillary, Stephanie Cutter, and a couple of others already have offers.

There is going to be to be at least 3-5 Latinos appointed. Now all Obama needs is someone openly gay and vocal about it. I think things are looking pretty interesting.

notburnttoast November 24, 2008 at 7:05 PM  

I know that at least two of the women have been married and are now divorced.

uglyblackjohn November 24, 2008 at 8:42 PM  

Condi is kinda' ugly.
Desiree is very attractive.

There can't be too many Blacks. Most Presidents choose from among their friends and allies for these posts. Obama would naturaly know and trust more minorities while also knowing several whites who are qualified.

wisdomteachesme November 24, 2008 at 8:43 PM  

they can still have children and not be married--concerning continuing their lineage. or they could adopt. there are so many details about their personal lives not known. and honestly, For Me, i really am not interested in any of that.

any of them could very well be in a relationship and we are just not privy to it.

AS Long As they Do the Job they were Appointed To Do--I don't care if they are single, married, divorced, living with, or dating a man or woman.

as long as they are not coming in with grand ideas of stealing, stabbing, cheating or trying to sell american and it's people off to the highest bidder--lets see what they can do to help.

i applaud his choices and i am curious to see how it all works together.

thanks prof, for letting us know about the latest appointees!

T. Nichol November 24, 2008 at 9:12 PM  

I'm loving it. All these appointees are beautiful in the fact that they are educated black women that are major players in their careers. I'm not trying to be cheesy but can we get all these women, with Michelle included, on the cover of Essence, Black Enterprise, Ebony or some magazine? Just to show the young girls of today that you can be anything you want as long as you believe and put your mind to it.

I'm in agreement with the person that said we don't know much about them so we can't say about their relationship status. It's possible that maybe the might not want to be in one or have children. For some people their career is their baby and they are perfectly content. And then some people find will find love later in life. There recently was the 85 yr old French (?) woman that got married for the first time.

Monique November 24, 2008 at 9:13 PM  

I don't know about the others but both Valerie and Melody are both divorced and the mother of 1 child. So the did get married at least once

Dr. Tracey Salisbury November 24, 2008 at 9:27 PM  

Sorry folks, but you guys are missing the point. I want to know why black folks don't seem to build families or sustain them. It's not about the personal lives of these women primarily, but building successful family groups in the black community. Otherwise we need to stop talking about the importance of black fathers and such because we make excuses for our cream of the crop black women to be unmarried.

Per their bios, all of these women are currently single, whether they were married before or not. Will they have dates at Washington functions or will they be at a big table together?

When I hear these excuses, I have to wonder if black women have already decided that they can't have the career and the man too.

Sheryl November 24, 2008 at 9:36 PM  

I'm with you Professor Tracey. These are the kinds of women that I'd love to see raising Black sons and daughters who are well educated, well connected, and who can make long lasting impressions in the nation's power structure.

oregonsistah November 24, 2008 at 9:38 PM  

professor tracey: I interpreted what you were saying as "what do we have to give up to have these positions and accomplishments" It is a high price. It is worth it! At the end of the day everyone wants somebody to love and love them back, whoever that may be. I am so proud of these ladies and it makes me smile reading about their accomplishments. I see that Desiree Rogers was married to John Rogers who is co-chairing the inaugural committee, so they still have a friendship and relationship and are a part of the Obama's inner circle.

Dr. Tracey Salisbury November 24, 2008 at 9:47 PM  

@Oregonsitah -

Never said i wasn't proud. I am asking the hard question here. How can the BEST of black womanhood be without husbands when the dumpiest white woman of the same education and stature have a man?

I'm not blaming or criticizing, just asking an obvious question. Are black women anti-marriage? Are black folks anti-marriage? We need to ask these questions, so will stop criticizing our people for something they are interested in doing.

Dr. Tracey Salisbury November 24, 2008 at 9:49 PM  

Oh yeah, I appreciate the debate ladies! I value everyone's point of view on this subject. Thanks for sharing.

T. Nichol November 24, 2008 at 10:21 PM  

I feel like the ratio of black females to black males in general on top of the ratio of black females to black males working on post secondary/professional degrees with females outnumbering in both plays a big factor. It's not to say that a black female with a degree won't go for a black male without one or vice versa, but generally you want someone that's shares the some of the same experiences and many times I feel educational experience is one.

Anonymous,  November 24, 2008 at 10:46 PM  

I'm not really sure. I know I'm single and backed out of a relationship headed towards marriage. In fact the date was set. Just not ready and not sure I ever will be. I'm quite selfish.

I think you have to look at black women and marriage like you look at unemployment. Unemployment numbers don't include everyone who is unemployed --its the unemployed who are actively looking for or want a job.

Some women want to be married but don't at the moment they are surveyed, some will never get married because they don't want to, some are lesbian, etc.

I think you're right Professor Tracey in that we have to know what we're dealing with and the real numbers and reasons before we can ask a legitimate question regarding Black folks and marriage.

I know some women see marriage as a business deal. Its something to establish, particularly wealth, security and status. Do Black women see marriage in that way or is it all about love only? And if so, does that contribute to the lower numbers in any way at all?

wisdomteachesme November 24, 2008 at 11:06 PM  

i understood what you meant prof.

maybe they just don't want to be maried. i'm not sure that i see a problem with that.
i guess some people will want to see other womens lives formed in the way they really want their lives to be--or what they feel is a traditional life to want to have=the education. the job, in this case the man and children, the house and car, vacation, etc...

Maybe for some those pieces are not all there is to want in their lifetime.

And maybe some women have already lived that life and did not like it.

And maybe.....And maybe........

Everybody is not going to want to be follow traditional paths and that should be fine. if the person is happy (because we don't know that they are not) then that is the life they have chosen.

There are sacrifices to every choice/decision that we all make. no mattter what the job-family or single; there are sacrifices to be made to have what you want.

tasha212 November 24, 2008 at 11:30 PM  

It does make you wonder why most powerful black women are single. It's scary. Because even though I want a successful career and business, I also want a family. I don't think that we should have to choose. Is there information about why they are not married. Alot of men are intimidated by powerful and successful women. Thanks PT for asking such an important question.

Gloria November 25, 2008 at 8:30 AM  

Our culture doesn't glorify marriage hood- we glorify Motherhood.

Non-black cultures celebrate marriage and keeping the legacy alive at any cost! Thus you have ww of all sorts walking down that line. WM are taught at an early age that marriage and family is VERY important. Unfortunately in our culture a man prowess is defined by how many women he has. It's shown in our music and praised by family members. We saw it briefly in the Hudson tragedy. The suspect’s mother was on Nancy Grace discussing where her son was the night before the murder. She casually told Nancy that he was with one of his girlfriends the day before. Nancy then responded by asking how many girlfriends did her son have. She responded by saying two with no hesitation.

Then we have a lack of choices:

BM (no matter what HE brings to the table) in general hold out to marry because of the high standards that they place on bw. The average bm's choice for marriage is usually a non-bw. I don't need to talk about the lack of quality bm that bw see in schools or at work, because that's been talked about a million times over.

So to sum it all up, until our culture changes its stance on marriage, and encourages bw to seek quality men (regardless of color) who DO want to marry, we’ll be having this same discussion 50 years from now.

Anonymous,  November 25, 2008 at 11:18 AM  

You go Obama - and Go Black Women!

Shady_Grady November 25, 2008 at 1:14 PM  

"The average bm's choice for marriage is usually a non-bw".

The overwhelming majority of Black men that are married are married to Black women. It's on the order of 92%.

I don't think men are intimidated by powerful, educated and successful women. Roughly a quarter of working wives earn more than their husbands. That proportion has been steadily trending upwards over the past decade.

I think what is accurate is that women are MUCH more interested in their partner's relative status, wealth, education etc than men are. I don't think there's anything wrong with this. Men just are interested in slightly different things. =)

wisdomteachesme November 25, 2008 at 2:06 PM  

now i have to add that Many non black men are also dogs and keep a score card- and they may be taught one thing but they also keep a piece on the side of their entire marriages.

just like some black men, some latino men, some asian men, etc...

again, the loudest and worst part of a group does not make them the largest part of a group.

some men of any skin color sneak, creep, cheat and are married. some never get married because they don't want to live selflessly.
the condition of the heart is the key.

some men wnat their women to change to fit them and grow to be what they want--they are not understanding that any committed relationship with about Both people growing, sacrificing, giving up- adding to and having a lot of understanding and compassion for each other.

many are selfish and do not want to change their goals--they just wnat a women to go with their plans and goals--almost like an accessory.

Are they aware of this condition of them being selfish--i beleive some are and some are not.

but it is not just black men that sneak and cheat--there are some men of all cultures that do that. it is the human condition of living for self.
I call it immaturity!

Unknown November 25, 2008 at 2:31 PM  

I don't know if there is any one answer to this dilema. I fully support a woman getting married or not; having children or not; involvment in a long term relationship with a significant other or not. I think too much emphasis is plased on the wedding and marriage certificate and not emough emphasis is placed on building a lasting relationship.

Marriage doesn't guarantee success. It doesn't mean happiness or longevity. It's not a measure of a loving family. I think as Black people there's a heavy religious influence in some of our communities. This influence turns into pressure and judgment if someone decides that marriage isn't for them.

We need to reach the point where we are accepting of others regardless of their preferences about life.

wisdomteachesme November 25, 2008 at 3:38 PM  

Cinco said="I think too much emphasis is plased on the wedding and marriage certificate and not emough emphasis is placed on building a lasting relationship.

Marriage doesn't guarantee success."

so true!
people use material success as tools to measure their lives with. wrong!

the wedding and the piece of paper-the education-the job-the travles, etc... have nothing to do with if you married the right person and if your motives are right. It is about being faithful in a committed relationship. and then many do not know what they need to be committed to!

they bring Faith to the ceremony but not to the actual committed relationship.

maturity is a key to making a committed relationship work and last.

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