Rep. Marcia Fudge is pushing President Obama to pick African-Americans for his cabinet – the latest salvo in ongoing criticism that Obama’s cabinet is too white and too male.
Fudge, D-Cleveland, is chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. On Monday, she released a letter urging the first African-American president to pick fellow African-Americans for some of his cabinet openings.
“You have publicly expressed your commitment to retaining diversity within your cabinet,” she wrote. “However, the people you have chosen to appoint in this new term have hardly been reflective of this country’s diversity.”
She said that members of the Congressional Black Caucus have had “numerous” phone calls from constituents questioning why none “speak to the unique needs of African Americans.”
“Their ire is compounded by the overwhelming support you’ve received from the African American community,” she wrote, adding that “the absence of diverse voices leads to policies and programs that adversely impact African Americans.”
The caucus has recommended a number of candidates for cabinet openings, she added, saying she is “disappointed” none were picked.
Currently, two African-Americans - Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk – serve in Obama’s cabinet. Both were nominated during Obama’s first term.