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.
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
1. Adewale Adeyemo, Deputy Treasury SecretarySource:Twitter 1 of 19
2. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Department of DefenseSource:Getty 2 of 19
3. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, vice chair of the Democratic National CommitteeSource:Getty 3 of 19
4. Kirsten Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights DivisionSource:Getty 4 of 19
5. Ashley Etienne, Kamala Harris’ Chief Communications Director5 of 19
6. Tina Flournoy, Vice President's Chief Of Staff6 of 19
7. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban DevelopmentSource:Getty 7 of 19
8. Joelle Gamble, National Economic CouncilSource:Courtesy of Biden-Harris Transition Team 8 of 19
9. Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director Of The White House Office Of Legislative AffairsSource:Joe Biden Communications Coalitions 9 of 19
10. Jamie Harrison, DNC ChairSource:Getty 10 of 19
11. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Deputy Press SecretarySource:Getty 11 of 19
12. Brenda Mallory, Council on Environmental Quality ChairpersonSource:Getty 12 of 19
13. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Co-Chair of Biden's Coronavirus Task Force13 of 19
14. Michael Regan, EPA14 of 19
15. Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Council DirectorSource:Getty 15 of 19
16. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 16 of 19
17. Cecilia Rouse, Council of Economic Advisors chairpersonSource:Getty 17 of 19
18. Symone Sanders, Vice President's spokesperson18 of 19
19. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN AmbassadorSource:Getty 19 of 19
Biden Giving Rahm Emanuel An Administration Role Could Undermine Efforts To ‘Restore The Soul Of America’ was originally published on newsone.com