Note to Republicans: This is not a good look. This exact kind of behavior will not fail to alienate the changing younger and diverse demographic of Americans. If you want to lose all relevance and respect, keep it up. In face of a rapidly browning of America, as Kos says, “One party embraces that change, the other retrenches in a fit of paranoia and xenophobia.” Yeah, Kasich has been forced to dig up a brother to appoint. But let’s not forget that it’s Ohio that helped give us a 2nd term of George W. Bush via disenfranchisement of black voters via a brother in charge: Ken Blackwell. Just because OH Gov. Kasich’s new appointee is black, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a friend of African-Americans. A close eye on Colbert is advised.
First a bit of background from Mediaite:
Newly-elected Ohio Governor John Kasich (R-OH) has been the subject of considerable outrage over his appointment of an all-white cabinet, the first in Ohio since 1962. Adding fuel to the fire, Kasich recently responded to Ohio Black Legislative Caucus treasurer state Sen. Nina Turner’s (D-OH) offer to assist him in building a more diverse cabinet by saying “I don’t need your people.” [Jill's response: "Um...Say what now?!"]
Many white people have this idea that being “colorblind” is the racial ideal (an easy position to take if your own skin color is never a detriment to you), but they fail to realize that “colorblindness” in an unequal society is de facto racism. If you live in a society that still enforces forms of racial separation, “colorblindness” will support that status quo.
As Turner points out, there are administrative posts that are apolitical, so can’t Kasich find any qualified black candidates for those positions? Well, by his spokesman’s own admission, qualifications are as secondary as diversity to the new Governor:
“Diversity is something we will seek and something we will work toward, but it’s not more important than finding people who share the governor’s positions,” he said.
Giving Kasich the benefit of the doubt, then, he’s just a guy who can’t find people from a disproportionately hard-hit community who want to slash essential services. That makes him blind to more than just color.
Hmm. That dog didn’t hunt so well, so now Kasich has turned on a big black dime. From ThinkProgress:
Fleshing out his “new way,” Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) offered Ohio the first all-white cabinet since 1962. As ThinkProgress reported last week, Kasich bluntly rebuked a black lawmaker’s offer to find qualified minority candidates, telling her “I don’t need your people.” This remark embroiled Kasich in a raging controversy over his indifference towards diversity. In an “obvious attempt to quell the criticism” yesterday, Kasichtouted the appointment of Lynn Stevens to Director of Minority Affairs. But as ThinkProgress noted, not only is the position not cabinet-level but Stevens had been serving in that position for a month. Today, Kasichfinally yielded to the “intense criticism” and made the actual first minority appointment to his cabinet by tapping Michael B. Colbert to head the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services:
With only three posts left to fill on what had been an all-white cabinet, Gov. John Kasich today made his first minority appointment, naming Michael B. Colbert to head the giant Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Colbert, who is black, had been serving as interim director of the department since Jan. 9, when the former director, Douglas E. Lumpkin, stepped down a day before Kasich’s inauguration.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
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