After enduring four years of an administration that looked like a single-race America, President-Elect Joe Biden is challenged to create a diverse administration. The stakes could not be higher. Biden is charged with bringing together a nation deeply divided. Washington, DC, politics is more vicious than ever. The country is failing at containing the spread of the coronavirus. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia are more exposed than ever, and the economy is struggling. President-Elect Biden must make critical appointments to help restore trust in government.
On December 4, Biden promised there would be significant diversity in his cabinet. As of today, his cabinet picks have reflected his promise. After the election, Biden announced his transition team. His transition team comprises of more than 46% people of color, with 25% of those being Black Americans. He also made history with an all-woman communication team, including three Black Women.
Biden said he desires to create an administration that mirrors America. With Janet Yellen as the first woman Treasury Secretary, Lloyd Austin, the first African American Secretary of Defense, Alejandro Mayorkas, the first immigrant to head the Department of Homeland Security, Xavier Becerra, the first Latino Secretary of Health and Human Services, Neera Tanden, the first South Asian woman to lead the office of Management and Budget, and Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay Transportation Secretary, Biden team is already incredibly diverse.
Biden already made history, making Kamala Harris his running mate. In January, she will become the first woman, first African American, and first South Asian Vice President. With all of these groundbreaking nominations and appointments, some are pressing the President-Elect to do more. Black leaders are calling on Biden to appoint African American’s in some of the most visible roles. Of particular interest is the position of Attorney General. The highest legal office in America, the AG supervises the Department of Justice, including the FBI, DEA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bureau of Prisons, and more.
With recent police shootings and criminal justice reform in the spotlight, black leaders want an African American in the position to focus on these issues.
President-Elect Biden appears to be focused on listening to minority groups when it comes to his appointments. He has met with the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and Congressional Hispanic Caucus. With each vying for key cabinet positions, Biden faces an almost impossible act of pleasing everyone.
Even with his nominations, each of these historic positions still needs to be confirmed by Congress. If the Georgia elections go to Republicans, these confirmation hearings will be an uphill battle.
Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersofficial.com