Blaxit: Joe Biden's Black Problem

There is no shortage of challenges and concerns for the Biden administration.

Blaxit: Joe Biden's Black Problem

There is no shortage of challenges and concerns for the Biden administration. Ukraine, China, inflation, immigration, shootings and a starving approval rating are already enough to monopolize all the resources.

To these problems is added a new one that we had not anticipated: a real exodus of black staff from the White House. They are already 21 to have left the ship or announced their departure. This movement is surprising.

When the 46th president was sworn in, the rate of representation of those who identified as black on the staff was quite high before gradually dropping to 14% in May 2022. According to the POLITICO website, the phenomenon is sufficiently important so that we refer to it by an expression: the blaxit.

A diversified administration

Upon entering the White House, Joe Biden promised an administration whose composition would represent what the United States is, and members of his entourage say he is particularly proud to have kept his promise.

Biden has added a black vice-president, he has just appointed a black spokesperson and, as mentioned above, never has an administration been so representative.

Even if the president's representatives argue that these many departures are attributable to returns to school or a normal desire for change, observers confide that this staff turnover should be taken very seriously.

Black staff exodus

Why this exodus then? Reference is made to the poor possibilities for advancement and the lack of role models or mentors within the hierarchy.

Recruiting qualified black personnel is one thing, allowing them to be fulfilled is another. Frustrated or slowed in their progress, several team members turn to better paying jobs. Washington is expensive and the base salary is $48,000.

Still according to the POLITICO website, the multiplication of departures creates uncertainty and causes a ripple effect. Added to this bleak picture is another factor that seems even more serious to me: staff members give up because the administration has moved away from the issues that justify their political involvement.

On condition of anonymity, a staff member expressed outrage at the White House's reaction to the Buffalo shootings. We talked a lot about this shooting, but made too little of the fact that ten of the victims were black.

In 2020, 22% of Joe Biden's electorate was black. Whether during the primaries or during the presidential election, the Democratic president knows well that he owes a great candle to the black community.

Whether the perceptions of its staff members are correct or not, the Biden-Harris tandem should intervene quickly to stabilize the situation. If we don't fear that the black community will suddenly turn to the Republican Party, we should worry that mobilization will be affected in 2022 and 2024.