The Stunning Lack of ‘Diversity’ in the Obama Campaign

Or as Ace from AceofSpades puts it: “Whiter than a Mormon unicorn’s teeth on Milk Appreciation Day.”

Via the Daily Beast.

The initial reaction, at least for supporters of President Obama, is to wonder if the image of a room full of young, white campaign workers at his Chicago reelection headquarters is some sort of Photoshopped dirty trick.

Barack Obama Chicago campaign headquarters

Campaign workers at Barack Obama’s Chicago reelection headquarters., Obama 2012 campaign

The campaign is pushing back, saying the photo is much Internet ado about nothing, but the image, first published by Buzzfeed and then picked up by the Drudge Report, is real and it is damning. Our first sitting president of color is so afraid of being labeled “president of the blacks” by his enemies that he goes in the other direction and earns a reputation for stiff-arming citizens of color.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus raised their voices to object to Obama’s tendency to distance himself from them early on in his term but eventually backed off of the complaint, at least in public. But one member of the caucus, who didn’t want to be named, said that several black members of Congress aren’t eager to go to visit the White House even when invited. Others secretly agree with Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, who have been unremitting in their criticism of Obama on matters of race. Still others ask why anyone is surprised, since this facet of his personality was well known before he assumed the presidency.

Many blacks justify Obama’s distancing as part of the heavy burden of being “the first black” anything. Those first through the door previously reserved for whites have had to be brilliant, talented, but most of all humble. The abuse Jackie Robinson—a fiery competitor with a quick temper—took in his early career didn’t come to light until years later. But many others argue this is a different era, and that they didn’t elect Obama to be doormat in chief.

The lily-white photo is all the more puzzling given that the president’s staffers have consistently managed to find persons of color to be on stage behind him at campaign events.

Much of Obama’s campaign was built on skin pigment, a factor which drove minorities—legal or otherwise—to the polls.  For campaign purposes, he gives lip service to the ‘people of color’ vote.  It’s not surprising to find that his campaign boiler rooms are staffed with mostly young white liberals; he’s already got the “people of color” in the tank.

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