Eleven days after the presidential election, 100 people were invited to the home of Vernon and Ann Jordan. The guest of honor was former Time Warner chief Richard Parsons, but the belle of the ball was Valerie Jarrett, one of Barack Obama’s best friends and a newly named White House senior adviser.
All night the Jordans’ guests — many VIPs in their own right — surrounded Jarrett, eager to introduce themselves and welcome her to D.C. Business as usual. Every four or eight years, Washington’s primarily white, influential, moneyed set rushes to cozy up to the new power brokers in town: Texans when George W. Bush arrived, Arkansas buddies when Bill Clinton came to town. The city’s high-level social scene — dinners, black-tie fundraisers, receptions, ubiquitous book parties — is the place where money and experience are subtly traded for access and influence.
Except for the first time, the face of ultimate power is African American. With a black first family in the White House and a diverse group of appointees and Cabinet nominees, the all-white dinner party feels all wrong. Certain hosts are suddenly grappling with a new reality: They need some black friends. Overnight, black politicians, lawyers and journalists are hot properties, receiving engraved invitations from people they never got invitations from before. (emphasis mine)
This article, trumpeting the latest blend of powerbrokers, is about as far from the mark of what the real problem is as you can get without entering a vegetative state. As if we’re supposed to be all Woo Hoo! because the percentage of beltway players that could use a tan has gone down. Please…
See, the issue here isn’t what the people with influence look like. Their overwhelming whiteness has been historical coincidence due to previous factors, which is being dealt with already. No, the issue is this: as long as the same ideas and the same worldview are in charge, nothing will change, no matter how loudly the mainstream press cheers. If accepting the status quo is the price of admission then functionally we’ve not moved, and are merely sticking new blinds on a broken window.
(cross-posted to FreedomDemocrats.org)