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Democratic Promises To Appoint Black Women Blasted By Progressives Following Appointment Of Laphonza Butler

In an op-ed for the LA Times, columnist LZ Granderson eviscerated the pledges by Democrats like California Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden to name Black women to high positions. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Granderson says it is paternalism for men like Biden and Newsom to make these promises.

He wrote, “At the intersection of anti-Blackness and misogyny is a mindset in which Black women are qualified enough to carry democracy yet somehow unqualified to earn their place in the nation’s highest offices. As if qualifications were the primary barrier.” 




Granderson argues in his column that the Democratic Party doesn’t have to bargain with voters, asserting that Black women have never needed to be given positions when their records speak clearly for their abilities.

‘But can Democratic men now stop pledging to pick Black women as though they’re a charity in need of matching contributions? Black women have never needed an electoral quid pro quo — a ‘vote for me and I’ll appoint one’ sort of thing.”

Instead of just promising positions to Black women, Granderson argued that a more beneficial method is to get these highly qualified women on the ballot and allow voters to decide their fates instead of just promising positions to Black women.

“The party could seriously back Black female candidates and make history across the nation. Or White male candidates could keep talking about ‘making history’ while they dangle pledges about Black women.”

Newsom received praise from progressives for naming former Emily’s List President Laphonza Butler to the Senate to replace the late Diane Feinstein. Butler is also the first openly LGBTQ+ Senate representative in the state’s history. Others were not impressed with Newsom’s move because Butler will only be a short-term replacement for Feinstein. Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California, echoed Granderson’s concerns.

“I am troubled by the Governor’s remarks. The idea that a Black woman should be appointed only as a caretaker to simply check a box is insulting to countless Black women across this country who have carried the Democratic Party to victory election after election.”

In addition to these concerns, The Intercept dug into Butler’s reorganization of Emily’s List to benefit Vice-President Kamala Harris during her presidential campaign. A former employee who spoke to the outlet anonymously said that Butler’s background as a labor leader made the reshuffling difficult to stomach.

“It caught us off guard for sure. She comes from such a prominent labor background, I and my team members definitely expected more of her.”

Lee also expressed concern that appointing a Black woman as a seat warmer would erase Butler’s appointment’s significance, as The Hill reported.

She explained, The perspective of Black women in the U.S. Senate is sorely needed — and needed for more than a few months. Governor Newsom knows this, which is why he made the pledge in the first place,” Lee continued.

“If Governor Newsom intends to keep his promise and appoint a Black woman to the Senate, the people of California deserve the best possible person for that job. Not a token appointment. Black women deserve more than a participation trophy. We need a seat at the table.

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