With all due respect to "Young Jeezy", your President might be black, but his press office is not.
Well, that is unless you count Bill Burton (the guy on the left in the pic) who considers himself bi-racial thanks to a black father.
"When a list of members of the White House press office appeared to show that no African American professionals worked there, a press assistant fielded a call asking if that were indeed the case. She said yes, not realizing that one of her own bosses, White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton, has a black father and white mother.
'I am biracial, that's right,' Burton, 31, told Journal-isms on Tuesday. 'Though I find it interesting that you ask only if I 'consider' myself biracial and not if I am.'
Burton's ethnicity, a surprise to many who have worked with or covered him through the long Obama campaign and into the White House, has surfaced only sporadically as a subject in a meteoric career that includes service as communications director for the 2004 presidential campaign of Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., for that of John Kerry, also in 2004, as national press secretary for Sen. Barack Obama, and now as deputy White House press secretary. His race is usually ignored.
'I had NO idea and I used to see him everyday,' one African American Obama campaign worker said. "I'm as good as any of us in 'detecting' the mixed among us and I had no clue. He looks totally white!"
The same White House press assistant assured a caller last week that Burton was not African American and said she was sure because she had known him for some time.
Burton's ethnicity became a subject of more than idle curiosity after Press Secretary Robert Gibbs released a list last week of the press-office staff, as this column reported then.
Even accounting for Burton, some were concerned. 'I got an e-mail Tuesday listing all of the various press folks and contact information, and hardly any African-Americans or Hispanics were listed,' commentator Roland Martin said on CNN. 'Granted, the deputy press secretary is African-American and the director of broadcast media is Hispanic. That's not sufficient.
"Unfortunately, this shouldn't come as a shock, because the campaign press staff of then-Sen. Barack Obama was just as weak on diversity.'
Martin repeated his position in his Creators Syndicate newspaper column.
He noted that staff members often rise to the key posts of press secretaries for entire departments and for the White House itself, and that Obama had articulated a commitment to diversity. White House staffers also decide which reporters are admitted to news conferences and which are called upon. Though there continues to be outreach to journalists of color in other venues — Obama gave an interview just this week to Black Enterprise magazine — it took six post-election news conferences before a black or Hispanic reporter had access to the microphone for questions..."
Well damn Mr. Burton, you fooled a black co-worker for that long? You must be better at this passe blanc thing than most. I just hope that you don't have a black granny hiding away somewhere that you are ashamed of.
Bit hat/tip to Richard Prince from the Maynard Institute. I lifted the article from him.