While campaigning for president, Joe Biden infamously said that Black voters who don’t vote for him “ain’t black.” The comment encapsulated Biden’s transactional, some would say racist, view toward Black supporters who helped him get elected.
It may not strike many as surprising to learn that Biden’s pledge to promote Black people in his administration has been something of a facade. More than 20 Black staffers have left the White House in what insiders are calling a “Blaxit,” Politico reported.
Report: Black staffers fleeing Biden White House
While Biden has made it sound like his administration is one big happy family of “diversity,” insiders say that’s hardly the case.
Some Black staffers complained that they are not being heard or included in decision-making and that there are scarce opportunities for advancement. Mentors are difficult to find, some say.
“We’re here and we’re doing a lot of work but we’re not decision-makers and there’s no real path towards becoming decision-makers,” said one official. “There is no real feedback and there’s no clear path to any kind of promotions.”
The departure of Cedric Richmond, who had come under fire from the “Squad,” came as a big blow to many Blacks on Biden’s staff, the report said. Richmond downplayed the report, saying a job at the White House is a “hard grind” that doesn’t pay as well as some other jobs in D.C.
Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pushed back on grumbling that deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon could have done more to retain Black staff, saying she has “always been a true advocate for diversity and for Black staff.”
Is the “equity” thing just PR?
Politico did note that several staffers left on good terms or to pursue other opportunities. But some have complained that issues important to the Black community are not at the top of Biden’s agenda any longer.
Despite these complaints, Biden has made very public efforts to promote so-called “equity,” including through the high-profile appointment of the first Black female Supreme Court justice, and about 14 percent of Biden’s staff are Black, which tracks with the overall Black share of the U.S. population.
Black voters were critical to Biden’s 2020 victory, and they remain among his most loyal supporters, although his Black support has dipped substantially since his inauguration.
Another staffer said Biden “brought in a ton of Black people generally to start without ever establishing an infrastructure to retain them or help them be successful.”
Sounds about right. Did Joe “You ain’t Black” Biden take the Black community for a ride? It’s hard to call it shocking.