President Joe Biden said Friday he will nominate Federal Reserve economist Philip Jefferson to fill a key policy-making role, promoting him to the central bank’s second in command after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
Jefferson, 61, was an administrator and professor at Davidson College in North Carolina before starting a 14-year term on the Fed’s board in 2022.
Biden made a move toward more Black appointments, saying he would nominate Fed governor Lisa Cook, 58, to a full 14-year term after she was confirmed in 2022 to a term that runs through January 2024.
“We kept our promise to put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, and we’ve appointed more Black women to the federal circuit courts than all previous presidents combined—and we’re not done yet,” Biden tweeted on May 12 in a message that got 2.8 million views.
Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) — whose last-minute endorsement helped propel Joe Biden’s 2020 White House campaign — have all gone on record saying that America isn’t a racist country. Why then do they expect so much extra credit for hiring qualified Black persons?
In a rebuttal to Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress in 2021, Tim Scott, then the lone Black Republican in the Senate, parroted another South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and became an apologist for racism denials when he said that the U.S. wasn’t racist.
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While praising Biden’s comments on race and domestic terrorism in his first joint address to Congress, Harris agreed, saying “No, I don’t think America is a racist country.”
Biden was also on board, telling NBC’s Today Show in April 2021, “No, I don’t think the American people are racist but I think after 400 years, African Americans have been left in a position where they’re so far behind the eight ball in terms of education, health, in terms of opportunity.”
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), then the No. 3 House Democrat, told CNN in April 2021, “We should stop arguing about whether or not this is a racist country. It is not. A racist country would never elect Barack Obama president or Kamala Harris vice president.”
New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow discussed the topic, “Is America a Racist Country?”
“When people say that America is a racist country, they don’t necessarily mean that all or even most Americans are consciously racist,” Blow wrote. “However, it is important to remember that nearly half the country (voted) for a full-on racist in Donald Trump, and they did so by either denying his racism, becoming apologists for it, or applauding it. What do you call a country thus composed?”
Biden promised to have a cabinet that “looks like America” and he has kept his promise with the most Black appointments of executive branch leaders and presidential advisers in American history, NewsOne reported.
Whether these Black appointments are in positions that will help Black people is less apparent.
Expecting extra credit for hiring qualified Black people is a government tactic that “ain’t gonna work no more…” tweeted documentary film producer and author Tariq Nasheed. “Elevating ‘tHe fiRst bLacK pErSon’ to a certain position where they cannot and will not help Black people, is more empty symbolism.”
Photos: Photo: Lisa Cook, http://econ.msu.edu/faculty/cook/index.php Philip Jefferson, https://www.swarthmore.edu/news-events/philip-jefferson
Ketanji Brown testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, April 28, 2021. (Tom Williams/AP) / U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin III, Sept. 16, 2015 (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)