Picture the absurdity of two Black women competing for a job in President Trump’s White House. Hard to fathom, yes—but that’s what happened, according to the African-American president of the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Kay Coles James, the first Black female president of the public policy think tank, claimed that Omarosa Manigault Newman, Trump’s former aide and reality TV star, “blocked” her from serving in the president’s administration, Politico reported.
“The way it was described to me is she approached the whole thing like it was ‘The Apprentice.’ So she looked around Washington and said, ‘OK, who do I need to get rid of first?’” James explained.
James worked on the president’s transition team after the election and hoped to land a job with the administration. Her work experience and commitment to the GOP are solid. James, who landed her current position in December, served under Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Why would these two Black women spar over the opportunity to work for Trump? Obviously, holding a White House post is prestigious. However, the Trump administration—with its constant turnover of personnel—is dysfunctional. It’s also an administration that cares nothing about diversity. Indeed, the president has the fewest female and non-White cabinet members of any president in over 30 years.
Manigault Newman was the highest-ranking Black person in the White House before Omarosa’s ouster. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, in a meeting with Black Republicans, said the administration wants to hire “talented” people without regard to race. Judging from the scarcity of Black faces in the White House, the administration has apparently come across few talented African Americans.
James’ dream job in the administration would be working on Trump’s long-promised “urban agenda” to fix what he views as the problems in the Black community. However, Darrell C. Scott, a Cleveland-area minister and staunch Trump ally, is overseeing development of the administration’s Black People Plan (not the official name, but it should be). However, reports imply that the administration is keeping him away from the White House as much as possible.