Omarosa: Are We Dismissing Her Black Experience?
BY: KIKI N.
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While on twitter I read a thread that started as “A Black woman is fired from a WH position as BW receive adulation for shifting an elections”. I quickly knew this pertained to the firing or resignation of Omarosa--a soon-to-be ex-White House Communications Director AND to the 97% of Black women & 92% of Black men who contributed to electing democratic candidate Doug Jones in the recent Alabama elections. A moment in history because Alabama has not had a Democrat senator since 1992.
Leaning on the former, I agreed with @FeministaJones, when she tweeted "What's worse is that folks won't be able to have nuanced conversations about this kind of thing because of their dislike of her..." because I too did not want to deem Omarosa as a Black woman with struggles. I have always seen Omarosa as a opportunist and I was never ever fond of her undying support for 45th. She also has an image of being nasty and dismissive of other Black women. So Omarosa, a Black woman who has probably had the same barriers and struggles that I may have also had----why did I think her Black woman narrative is unwarranted?
What's worse is that folks won't be able to have nuanced conversations about this kind of thing because of their dislike of her...— ♈️☀️Chief Blocka🌙♌️ (@FeministaJones) December 13, 2017
People only care about right and justice when they like someone rather than looking at how everyone is subjected to the same oppressive systems, regardless of their personal choices/beliefs— ♈️☀️Chief Blocka🌙♌️ (@FeministaJones) December 13, 2017
When the story came out that Omarosa was either fired or resigned,--right now they are calling it "Omarosa's exit"--- many people weighed in on different matters such as
- The state of diversity in the White House. On her Good Morning America interview, Omarosa stated many times that she was "the only African-American woman in this White House" and also stated "there is a lack of diversity that I will acknowledge".
- "Was it worth it working for an administration that did not care for African Americans?" Many people have this view that a Black person should not work for a non-diverse company or organization because they do not necessarily "care about us". Which could be true, but they fail to realize that maybe this job helps them stay financially stable or it's a great opportunity for them to rise in their career.
- No one knew what her exact duties were. Many media networks ran with this idea that Omarosa was just at the White House with no job description. There were assumptions that she was a mere ornament to the 45th Administration. This could be true, but remember, many Black women working in these environments feel like they are just "there" to be seen and not there for their work product.
- Loyalty to the boss didn't guarantee her position . This might be a stretch. Right now, it is unsure whether Omarosa was fired or she resigned, but it is known that Omarosa had a very strong relationship with 45th and from the media, she was not insubordinate at the job. So exactly, where did her loyalty take her? She even stated in an interview that "Every critic, every detractor will have to bow down to President *****". I can say that her "exit" created a media frenzy of how "there was a lack of diversity" in the White House and that she wants to talk about it. Could this be revenge hurt the 45th Administration?
We can agree that all these points COULD be the Black women experience in a professional workplace. And we can agree that Omarosa is not excluded from this experience because of her lack of likability. I am not defending Omarosa as a person or a brand, but I do want people to understand is that her experience should not totally be dismissed. I definitely agree that she is contoversal as a person and I also agreed with Robin Roberts when she stated
And I definitely loved Angela Rye's comment when she was on CNN as a Political Commentator and stated
I get it, she's disruptive and causes so much drama. She has even proved she that she represents nobody but herself. I just hope that we can acknowledge all instances of Black women--no matter how much we dislike our Black co-worker or boss--that they too have these complex experiences of being a Black woman in professional and corporate spaces.
Kiki N. works in government. She has a bachelors degree in Sociology. She is interested in the Black women narrative and experience.