Black White House Aides Are Departing The White House In Mass “Blaxit”
First, there was “Brexit,” referring to the withdrawal process of the UK from the European Union. Then there was “Blexit,” a Candace Owen-coined phrase meant to encourage Black people to leave the Democratic Party. And now, according to Politico, the White House is suffering from a “Blaxit” problem, where Black aides and staffers have departed the Biden administration en masse.
The new report says that more than 20 Black White House employees have left since late last year. Politico said that while some have left on good terms to pursue additional career or educational opportunities, others have attributed the turnover to a lack of mentorship and opportunity.
“We’re here and we’re doing a lot of work but we’re not decision-makers and there’s no real path towards becoming decision-makers,” one current staffer told the outlet. “There is no real feedback and there’s no clear path to any kind of promotions.”
“They brought in a ton of Black people generally to start without ever establishing an infrastructure to retain them or help them be successful,” another current official said. “If there is no clear infrastructure of how to be successful, you become just as invisible in this space as you would be if you were not in it.”
Some “people have not had the best experiences and a lot of that has to do with the death of Black leadership,” a former official agreed. “Think about any workplace. Black folks need some person to go to, to strategize and be a mentor, and we just don’t have as many folks who can be mentors to us.”
Symone Sanders, who left back in December to take on a hosting gig with MSNBC, was the first high-profile departure of a top Black official from the Biden administration. Since then, Tina Flournoy, VP Kamala Harris’ chief of staff, communications director Ashley Etienne, and public engagement chief Vincent Evans, as well as White House public engagement head Cedric Richmond have since joined the rush as part of a Blaxit.
The White House was quick to dispute claims of a lack of advancement among its Black staffers, telling Politico that 15 percent of that cohort were promoted in the last year. Approximately 14 percent of White House staff identify as Black, according to the report.
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