White Males Still Vastly Overrepresented at Top of Federal Hierarchy

Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.


African American Political Pundit has been sounding the alarm that one Black man in the Oval Office does not diversity make. AAPP's Change Watch: Minority Advocates Watching Obama That point is underscored by a new report by the Government Accountability Office, showing that Blacks and women are still woefully underrepresented among the highest level of civil servants managing the government, and this will not change unless the Obama Administration makes a conscious decision to address rather than exacerbate the inequities.

For example, only 8.5 percent of high level executives were Black, although the nation is 12.8% Black; and only 3.6 percent of the high level executives are Latino, even though Latinos make up 14.8% of the United States.

Meanwhile, white men constitute 60.7 percent of the highest level civil servants, even though they constitute less than thirty percent of the population.  In other words, white men are 100% overrepresented in the highest level civil service jobs.

Some people are going to insist, as a defense of the current demographics, that these jobs should be given out based on merit rather than based on gender, skin color or ethnicity.  While each job should be given to the person most capable of doing the job, the "best candidate" argument assumes that white men are the best candidate twice as often as they are present in the general population.   It's more likely that white men are 100% overrepresented as a result of historic patterns of old-boy networks, the "white male supremacy syndrome".

I define "white male supremacy":  as "the belief that white males, no matter how much and how often they fail, are still, by virtue of their male gender and white skin, inherently more qualified than blacks and women who succeed." -- Francis L. Holland, December 13, 2006 at DailyKos. 
In the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, it's hard to argue that having 100% over-representation of white men in the highest levels of the Federal Government is an example of choosing the best people for the job regardless of the color.   Instead, it's an example of choosing white men for jobs regardless of whether they are the best people with the best ideas and the most ability to implement them.

The over-representation of white men results, as well, from the superhuman white man myth.

The Strongest American Myth Historically is the Superhuman White Man Myth

To be elected president, Barack Obama had to overcome this powerful myth, helped by being compared with George W. Bush and John McCain in the context of a hugely unpopular war and then an international economic meltdown.

However, some of the "superhuman" white men who created the current meltdown (like leverage proponent Rubin) are being invited back into the Government, packing the upper levels with white men while ignoring the abilities of women and minorities who have not yet been given a chance to discredited their theories and abilities.   Robert E. Rubin is a director and counselor at CitiGroup, where he helped turn Citi into a financial basket case, a microcosm of the financial policies that have turned international financial markets into a freefalling chaos.

There's more...


Secretary of State - I'm all for Hillary Clinton for this post. Main reason is that she would be very good at it. There may be a bit of conflict but I'm sure No Drama Obama can handle it. Politically, her appointment would increase his support among women. Economically, Obama should ask Doris Kearns Goodwin for a share of the royalties from increased book sales.

Treasury Secretary - Larry Summers has been the front runner but many are worried that the Harvard thing will be a big problem. I'm inclined to believe that this problem will fade away, leaving us with the complaint that Summers is too abraive. I think that Obama can convince him to tone down. And, whenever he wants abrasive, Summers can visit Raul Emanuel in the White house.

The Puppy - A major White House decision. Once selected, there will be a question of name. If
it's a girl puppy, I would name it Hillary. Then, there's a chance that a Hillary will do as Obama says. If a boy puppy, I would expect it to grow into an attack dog and name it Raul.

homer   www.altara.blogspot.com

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Cabinet Diary 2 - Secretary of the Treasury (with poll)

It's time to continue our look at the Cabinet in the upcoming Obama administration. Second - Secretary of the Treasury, perhaps the most important appointment President-elect Obama will make, given the current economic circumstances.

There are several excellent options - some who served in the Clinton Administration - some outsiders - and even some paradigm breaking choices. For convenience, I've taken the list from a betting site (yes, it is in the order of the oddsmakers' favorite).

There were Republicans on the list, and I've left out the "I don't believe it" names still on the betting lines such as Phil Gramm and Bob Zoellick. There's also some chatter about keeping Paulson on, temporarily to administer the bailout. So as distasteful as it seems, I kept his name on the list.

Perhaps one key criteria (which you're free to throw to the side of the road) is whether the candidate would inspire confidence in the markets.

(X posted at OpenLeft - will X post at DK, as soon as the clock allows me to post another diary there)

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