No, Omarosa was not the White House’s ‘token minority’

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From the very beginning of the 2016 election, the left has been playing identity politics with the electorate and things have not changed. The narrative was Donald Trump had limited black support, and no one imagined that he would do better than the past to GOP nominees and received 8 percent of the black vote and his numbers continue to rise.  

From day No. 1, the Trump administration has been diverse. Yes, diverse. Diversity is not just about race but also includes religion, geography, experiences, and gender. We have seen the dozens of women in the White House and across the administration in key positions but the racial diversity is never reported in an accurate or positive fashion.

{mosads}I will be the first to admit that there is more work to be done with hiring more black Americans at the White House. What I do know is Omarosa Manigault Newman was not a “token minority” despite attempts by her to limit other blacks from serving in the Administration. 


With the firing of Omarosa, who served as the highest-ranking black American in the White House in her role as the head of communications for the Public Liaison Office the narrative was that she was the only one at the White House and after she left there were no other blacks working at the White House. False. While she did prevent a number of black supporters, Like Heritage Foundation president, Kay Coles James, and others, including her own friends, from getting jobs on the campaign or at the White House in positions at her level or above, there were blacks proudly serving from the begin. 

Under the Obama administration when you had Valerie Jarrett sitting in the West Wing and all the black people they say that worked in senior positions, including the presidency-how did they allow the Parent Plus Loan debacle to occur? How did they allow the president to slash millions in his first budget from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)? Why did they not urge the president to condemn every hate group in America in his statement after the Charleston shootings? Why did they not push President Obama to issue a strong statement out saying that it was wrong to refer to the sitting President of the United States as the “N-word” at the White House Correspondents Dinner

So let’s focus on the facts of the Trump administration pre and post Omarosa. Some of the black Americans serving in the White House are commissioned officers, Mary Elizabeth Taylor (who was just nominated to be the assistant secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, and Ja’Ron Smith, who worked in the Domestic Policy Council but now work in the Office of Legislative Affairs. 
The White House staff includes Henry Childs, who works in the Office of Public Liaison, who despite the falsehood by NAACP president (I know because I was present for one such meeting) has met with them and a host of other black organizations on both sides of the aisle in his capacity as a policy advisor and black engagement director. Johnathan Holifield, who is the executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs (President Trump moved this position to the White House and the office under the auspices of the White House and not Education. The White House Fellows Office has had at least two black Americans working inside the White House, (one on HBCU issues) the past two years and the Fellows Office deputy director is Blandon David. Lastly, Earl Matthews moved from the Department of Defense to the National Security Council. In addition to those working for the president, there are blacks working for the White House in the Office of the Second Lady, Kara Brooks, who serves as her director of communications.

There have been other black Republicans that started at the White House but moved to other agencies and opportunities such as Leah Le’Vell, Monica Alexander, and Daris Meeks.

Looking at the administration, you can’t forget our HUD secretary and surgeon general are both black Americans. There are a host of blacks that serve in senior and junior roles that are political appointees of the Trump administration at HUD, VA, SBA, Education, Energy, DOD, DOT, State, Interior to name a few. We know that the president has nominated the first black woman to be Marine General, and several blacks to serve on the federal bench like Judge John Milton Younge.

Even more impressive is the fact that when you look at the entire Trump/GOP machine. Starting with the Trump Transition you had Kay Coles James and Kenneth Blackwell. There are blacks in key positions at the RNC, such as Kamilah Prince his re-election campaign, with Katrina Pierson, David Clarke with America’s First PAC, and grassroots organizations that all work in support of the “Make America Great Again” agenda.  

That #MAGA agenda is working to improve the lives of blacks across this country. Recently, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has credited President Trump with moving the nation in a better direction post-Charlottesville with his support of the Investing in Opportunity Act and “Opportunity Zones.”

#MAGA is also about jobs and justice. We have seen the historic unemployment lows for black Americans and equally as important the gap between minority unemployment and that of the general population being driven down to record lows. This agenda is focusing on apprenticeships, workforce development, supporting HBCU funding, charter schools, and STEM education through computer science initiative, prison reform, Associated Health Plans for small business owners and sole proprietors, removing burdensome regulations stifling urban entrepreneurship and revitalization. There is a record of achievement and black Americans inside and outside the White House supporting President Trump and his positive agenda

Omarosa and those not reporting the facts are doing a disservice to by misleading the country about minority leadership in this administration and our party. We are here and we are making America great again. 

Paris Dennard, a CNN political commentator, and worked in the George W. Bush White House and the Republican National Committee (RNC). President Donald J. Trump appointed him commissioner, on the President’s Commission on White House Fellows. Follow him on Twitter @PARISDENNARD

Tags Black Americans Donald Trump Identity politics minority Omarosa Manigault Newman Paris Dennard Tim Scott White House

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