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Despite vocal opposition to Rahm Emanuel having a role in the Biden Administration, recent reports suggest the notorious former mayor of Chicago may be destined for an ambassadorship after all. Once rumored to be considered for Transportation secretary, the man who also served as President Barack Obama‘s former White House chief of staff previously drew opposition from a range of groups, including the NAACP and trade unions.
For some, President Joe Biden’s claimed commitment to addressing racial justice is inconsistent with Emanuel’s inclusion in the administration. By now, most people are familiar with the list of grievances against Emanuel. But framing attempts to dislodge Emanuel from positions of power as simply “progressive complaints” ignores his actual controversial history in office and advisory positions alike.
I also wrote about how we beat Rahm in Chicago. Remember these stories. If Biden elevates Rahm, he owns a dark place in these histories too. If men like Rahm are rewarded for their wickedness, why would any mayor do any differently? Plenty are as awful. https://t.co/57Sc541Exi
— Puff the Magic Hater (@MsKellyMHayes) February 2, 2021
As previously reported by the Guardian, Chicago-based activists suggest Biden consider the optics of giving someone like Emanuel a position in his administration. Continuing to bolster Emanuel’s political profile with new, important roles could send the message that the Biden Administration only pays lip service when it comes to accountability and justice.
Biden started off his first week as president with an express commitment to prioritizing racial justice. Having a man who is accused of covering up the murder of Laquan McDonald to win re-election could raise doubts about the sincerity of that commitment.
Beyond covering up the murder of a Black teenager, Rahm’s policies exacerbated a history of segregation and systemic disinvestment in Black and brown neighborhoods in Chicago. Early in his tenure as mayor, Emanuel closed 50 schools and walked back promises that communities would have a say in the future uses of those sites.
Shortly before his departure from city leadership, advocacy group Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago called out Emanuel for playing into racist stereotypes of Asians in early 2019. More recently, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called Emanuel “unfit for service” in the Biden-Harris Administration for use of an Islamaphobic trope to describe the relationship between Republicans and Democrats post-Trump.
An Emanuel appointment could also compromise the Biden administration’s efforts to restore the country’s role as a moral leader abroad. Launching his presidential campaign with a promise to “restore the soul of America,” Biden has an opportunity to end the promotions of previously disgraced politicians to new positions of power.
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Here Are All The Black People In Joe Biden’s Cabinet And His Most Senior Advisers
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1. Adewale Adeyemo, Deputy Treasury Secretary
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2. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Department of Defense
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3. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee
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4. Kirsten Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division
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5. Ashley Etienne, Kamala Harris’ Chief Communications Director
Ashley Etienne is the Communications Director for MVP Kamala Harris. She’s not new to the game. Etienne was the communications director for the House Oversight Committee under the late Elijah Cummings. Biden-Harris administration has chosen the best!???????? pic.twitter.com/FLVgWZCdUn
— silverprincess? (@marsha_vivinate) November 30, 2020
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7. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban Development
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8. Joelle Gamble, National Economic Council
Source:Courtesy of Biden-Harris Transition Team
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9. Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director Of The White House Office Of Legislative Affairs
Source:Joe Biden Communications Coalitions
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10. Jamie Harrison, DNC Chair
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11. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Deputy Press Secretary
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12. Brenda Mallory, Council on Environmental Quality Chairperson
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13. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Co-Chair of Biden’s Coronavirus Task Force
Finally, some science.
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a doctor and college professor promoting health and healthcare equity for structurally marginalized populations, will co-chair Joe Biden’s Covid task force.https://t.co/cUHso6sruX
— NewsOne (@newsone) November 16, 2020
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15. Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Council Director
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16. Cedric Richmond
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17. Cecilia Rouse, Council of Economic Advisors chairperson
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19. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN Ambassador
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Biden Giving Rahm Emanuel An Administration Role Could Undermine Efforts To ‘Restore The Soul Of America’
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