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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Diversity, Barack Obama, Black Dolls, White Dolls And Poetry

There is a lot of (white male) diversity in President Elect Barack Obama's administration, well kind of... Or is it business as usual?

There is much talk about how Obama goes for experience, pragmatism yet, There are some that question if that is really the case. I for one think I have heard those words of going for experience and pragmatism before with George W. Bush and the Ronald Reagan administrations. I guess the "post-racial" tag attached to Obama is being used by Obama to dismiss legitimate black concerns regarding the make up of his cabinet.

What happen to the word "change?" I guess Obama's Cabinet may be short on reformers. I guess America will have to get ready for middle-of-the-road no change politics. it appears that Obama is surrounding himself with a cabinet full of intellectuals. Or as some have said, it seems like a third Clinton administration, with a few political retiirees. No change here folks, just political debts repaid. No back to diversity:

As an example, As reported by bloomberg "there is Ivy league diversity." If Obama’s choices are confirmed, his Ivy Leaguers will represent a more diverse range of elite schools, as an example, two will hold degrees from Harvard -- Education Secretary- designee Arne Duncan and Housing and Urban Development Department-designee Shaun Donovan; two from Princeton -- Obama’s choice for OMB director Peter Orszag and EPA administrator Lisa Jackson; and one each from Yale, Dartmouth and Columbia -- Clinton, Treasury Secretary-designee Tim Geithner and Obama’s choice for attorney general, Eric Holder. More HERE

There is surely Latino and women diverity, bloomberg notes with Bill Richardson as commerce secretary, Hilda Solis as labor secretary and Ken Salazar as interior secretary, Obama has picked more Hispanics than Clinton or Bush. Bush named five women in his first Cabinet, while Obama ties Clinton with four. Obama has also named several women to White House posts and to head agencies -- Mary Schapiro will lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, Christina Romer will head the Council of Economic Advisers and Melody Barnes will direct his Domestic Policy Council.

Obama has mostly picked current and former lawmakers from states that helped win him the presidency. Some appointees were named even though they supported Hillary Clinton during the primary battle, including Clinton herself.

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, who campaigned unsuccessfully for Clinton, is Obama’s choice for agriculture secretary; Solis was also a Clinton backer. Obama has chosen past and present lawmakers from Colorado, New York, California, Illinois, Iowa and New Mexico -- all states that went for him.

The exceptions: Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, who will lead the Department of Homeland Security, and former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle, Obama’s pick for the Department of Health and Human Services. Their states went for Republican John McCain.

He “has explicitly indicated he wants people to take diverse positions and argue,” said Fred Greenstein, a presidential historian at Princeton University.

bloomberg reports on Republican Diversity, Obama has also named two Republicans: Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Representative Ray LaHood. Bush named Democrat Norman Mineta to head the Department of Transportation.

White men dominate the hierarchy of Obama administration. There are only five women, if one includes Jackson and Susan Rice, the nominee for U.N. ambassador, whose positions Obama considers Cabinet-rank. (Also named yesterday to head the sub-Cabinet Small Business Administration was Karen Mills, a Maine businesswoman.) Obama overlooks Northwest in cabinet choices.

There are three Latinos, four blacks and two Republicans. Hmm.. I'm not happy with the number of black folks in his administration, But I have no control over it, so I guess I will just let it go....

There are those who still pick the white doll even though the black doll may be the most qualified today.

We should all remember that some will never let Barack obama forget he is black,

I have been watching this issue of for some time.

I have been watching how my Latino sisters and brothers have been fighting for what the want and need, It to bad that many black folks have been lulled to sleep by the Obama win. Not willing to fight for what is rightfully ours like latinos, gays and women. We are giving up three U.S. Senate seats with a fight.

1 Presidency and no U.S. Senate seat(s)... Barack got a great deal, lets hope black America get's a good deal in the long run. In the meantime, all we black folks need to do is to act like President Elect Barack Obama—and our problems will be over. RIGHT!

Here’s an updated list after the Solis and Kirk picks:

-- 8 State Schoolers (Daschle, Vilsack, Chu, Napolitano, Salazar, Gates, Solis, Kirk)
-- 7 Ivy Leaguers (Clinton, Duncan, Geithner, Holder, Donovan, Orszag, Jackson)
-- 5 Raised in the Midwest (Clinton, Daschle, Gates, Duncan, LaHood, Vilsack) Note: This doesn’t include Chu, who was born in Missouri but grew up in New York or Vilsack who can be now considered a "midwesterner" since he had lived in and lives in Iowa, but he grew up in Pennsylvania.
-- 5 Women (Clinton, Napolitano, Solis, Rice, Jackson)
-- 4 Raised in New York (Holder, Donovan, Geithner, Chu -- who grew up on Long Island) Note: This does not include Napolitano who was born in NYC or Clinton who currently lives there.
-- 4 Basketball Players (Duncan, Rice, Holder, Kirk -- who also was a cheerleader in college)
-- 4 African Americans (Holder, Kirk, Rice, Jackson)
-- 3 Hispanics (Salazar, Richardson, Solis)
-- 3 Westerners (Salazar, Richardson, Napolitano -- who was born in NYC but raised in Albuquerque) Note: Solis is from L.A., but is that really a Westerner?
-- 2 Asian Americans (Shinseki, Chu)
-- 2 Republicans (Gates, LaHood)
-- 2 Sitting Senators (Clinton, Salazar)
-- 2 Sitting Governors (Napolitano, Richardson)
-- 2 Raised in the South (Kirk, Jackson -- who was born in Philadelphia, but adopted a few weeks later and grew up in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward)

Source: msnbc

Special Note, as reported by the NY Times, I'm glad to see that Elizabeth Alexander, who teaches at Yale, was plucked last week from the relatively obscure recesses of contemporary poetry for a moment on the world stage. President-elect Barack Obama has commissioned her to compose and read a poem for his inauguration, making her only the fourth poet in American history to read at one and elevating the art to unaccustomed prominence in the national psyche, at least for a day. More HERE

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