I’d worry less if this article came from, say, Breitbart, but it’s from Bloomberg News. The title tells the tale (I think); click on the screenshot:
There’s nothing wrong with having experts on racism, but this makes it seem like what we’re going to be faced with is Critical Race Theory, which I don’t want permeating a Democratic administration. For one thing, I think it’s wrong (“systemic racism”, defined as racism formally embedded within institutions, isn’t immediately apparent in either universities or the American government), and for another, it’s going to cause more divisions in America and endanger the tenuous Democratic hold on government. (If you’re told you’re a racist, especially unconsciously, you’re going to push back.)
But maybe it won’t be as bad as I think. Here are the details from Bloomberg:
When it comes to economic policy, President-elect Joe Biden is putting racial disparities high on the agenda as he assembles his administration.
The incoming president tapped Mehrsa Baradaran, whose book “The Color of Money” is a key reference on the racial wealth gap, to prepare the Treasury Department for the transition. She’s joined by Lisa Cook, an economist at Michigan State University, on the “landing team” for the Federal Reserve and banking and securities regulators. They are among more than 500 experts who will focus on race as they shape Biden’s policies on issues like housing, health and small-business lending. Baradaran declined to comment, and Cook referred questions to the Biden team.
Observers say they’ve never seen expertise about race figure so prominently in economic roles.
But shouldn’t class also be figuring prominently in economic roles as well? The economic equities in the U.S. surely weigh heavily on blacks, but the entire country is becoming more unequal, and, with the pandemic, there will be a huge number of people in all groups who will be hurting badly. Not to mention all the small businesses that shut down.
Anyway, there’s more:
Disparities in economic opportunity and achievement have been a prominent topic in the U.S. this year, since the summer’s widespread demonstrations against racism and police brutality. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic, the first Black Fed president in the central bank’s 106-year history, has said systemic racism is both an economic and a moral issue.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are emphasizing diversity as they prepare to assume power next year. Women comprise more than 50% of the new administration’s landing teams, according to the transition team, and more than 40% of advisers are from groups that are historically underrepresented in the federal government, like racial minorities, people with disabilities and those who identify as LGBTQ.
“Having these individuals who are representative of their community in the actual room where they can voice their perspective and have their perspective actually translate to policy — it matters more than you think,” Opoku-Agyeman said. Next, she said, she will watch to see whether progressive-leaning advisers can drive policy change.
I have no beef with diversity in the cabinet; in fact, vis-a-vis these interest groups, it’s necessary and useful to hear the voices of people who have experienced discrimination. The only danger is if the voice of a “minoritized” person is taken to stand for the view of all people in this group. But I am worried about “progressive-leaning advisers” driving policy change, for if the policies driven are not ones that Americans favor, like open borders, or haven’t yet come around to, like universal health care with the government as payer, then it could hurt the Democrats.
Here are a few more of Biden’s new appointees:
- Don Graves, who leads the Treasury landing team. He’s a former Obama administration official and was head of corporate responsibility at KeyBank until he joined the campaign in September.
- Bill Bynum, who will advise the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He’s chief executive of the Hope Credit Union.
- Tene Dolphin, who will serve on the Commerce Department’s landing team. She’s the first executive director for the Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce.
I’m not shaking in my boots, worried about fulminating wokeness, but I didn’t expect a concentration on “systemic racism” as a key part of economic governance, either, as I didn’t peg Biden as a Wokester. What I expected what these views about comity and compromise, espoused by Biden’s former boss:
Am I wrong to be concerned?