I want you to check this photo here out. This photo came out a couple of weeks ago, showing the campaign staff of Pres. Barack Obama, Chicago office. What do you see? The question is, what do you don’t see? That is many African-American faces.
After this came out, all of a sudden, the Obama campaign began to have meetings with lots of different people, putting the word out about the need to hire more African-American staffers. So, you’re telling me that this is what took? It took for a photo to show mostly White folks at a campaign office of the first Black President to cause a campaign to all of a sudden realize they need to hire more African-Americans.
Some folks say this is no big deal. I disagree.
Three years ago, I wrote a column talking about the lack of African-Americans in the White House Press Office. A lot of African-Americans did not just vote for Pres. Obama because of his policies. It also was about breaking down the power structure — that is, opening a door for other folks. And so, sure, we can talk about Atty. Gen. Eric Holder. We could talk about Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. We can talk about other African-Americans who are in the Administration, but the key is not just those high-level positions. It’s also those junior staffers, the opportunities afforded other folks in the lower positions, because those are the people who typically then go on to be hired in major positions in corporate America.
Yes, corporate America looks to the White House for a lot of critical people. So, I would say to the Obama Administration, as well as to the campaign, “Yes, there are some African-Americans, but you can do more, and you should do more.” Now, if you think I’m wrong for this, fine. Write me. Email me. Tweet me. But I’ll tell you this. The bottom line is there’s an expectation for African-Americans to open the door for the next generation, as opposed to allowing other folks to step in and not seeing enough of us in those vital positions.
I say do more, and do better. That’s our expectation.
And that is my perspective. What’s yours?