Obama’s White House – The Diversity Question

Published On January 18, 2013 » 286 Views» By KCEP Webmaster » Like It Is
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In Clinton’s first term, 47% of those he appointed to his Cabinet were women or people of color. Bush had precisely the same percentage in his first term. By the end of Clinton’s second term, his figure had risen to 52%. President Obama’s two Supreme Court nominations have been women, his first secretary of State and Homeland Security secretary are women, also his attorney-general a black man. Yet many of his supporters question his recent cabinet appointments lack of vision when it comes to diversity, since all were white men.

The new Congressional Black Caucus Chair, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) had offered a few suggestions. Fudge wrote President Obama and asked him to consider Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) (past guest of “Like it is radio”) and Mel Watt (D-NC) for cabinet positions. Fudge suggested Watt would do well as the Secretary of Commerce and that Lee would be a fine replacement for Secretary of Labor Watt who has served on the House Financial Services Committee for twenty years. Lee is a member of the Appropriations Committee who has been an advocate in Congress for the unemployed.

Everyone agrees that the president is entitled to choose whomever he believes has the talent, loyalty and drive to fulfill the demanding posts around him. And undoubtedly our president is presented with an endless roster to pick from.  Since President Obama is the first minority president to govern a country where white people still make up the majority, does he has had to appear scrupulously nonracial in his choices?

Additionally should the president feel the need to appoint a Black man to a policy making position within the inner circle? Conversely is the Black community being too sensitive in its desire to be paid back for their overwhelming support. Upon further critical analyst many ask “what has this President done for Blacks?”   Growing segments are feeling “Other special interest groups are also vying and receiving more attention” than the Black community at large.

For me it’s just disappointing almost disturbing, that President Obama can’t find more women, blacks (especially men), more Latinos he feels comfortable with and confident in for these positions. This is his second term; he made it by & with the overwhelming support of blacks, women and Latinos. I’m not suggesting he “owes” his supporters anything other than an effective and hardworking White House. But at this point in his tenure, he should be as aggressive and individualistic in appointing whomever he wants for these jobs!  Blacks should be incorporated into the highest level of this White House to create a legacy of leadership that will long out last this historical Presidency.

This is how President Obama compares to Clinton & Bush in hiring Black to high ranking positions The current tally so far:                                                                                                                  President Obama   4 (in 4 years)
President Clinton   9 (in 8 years)
President Bush       6 (in 8 years)

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A community service of EOB, KCEP-FM provides more than 150,000 listeners each week an eclectic blend of hip hop and R&B, locally produced public affairs programming and cultural programs. The station broadcasts throughout the Las Vegas Valley on its frequency of 88.1 FM. As a member-supported, non-commercial station, KCEP is proud to be an National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate station.

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