Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivers her remarks to the National Historically Black Colleges and Universities annual conference in Washington, Monday, Sept. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Condi spoke at a conference on African American colleges yesterday, and this was her complaint:
"I have lamented that I can go into a meeting at the Department of State -- and as a matter fact I can go into a whole day of meetings at the Department of State -- and actually rarely see somebody who looks like me. And that is just not acceptable," Rice said.
It's hard to know where to start on this one. Over the years I have had many conversations with people at the State Department (I'm kind of a cult figure there), and the one thing I've heard over and over is that NOBODY sees "S" (as they call her) there at all, outside of her central core of cronies and immediate support staff. She's basically sneaked in and out of there through, I don't know, an elaborate series of tubes or something. I've heard from people who have been there for years who have only caught brief, tantalizing glimpses at their beloved leader.
Condi, honey, the Department of State is located in Washington, DC. There are just, like, totally loads of black people there! It's safe to say that the housekeeping and food service staffs, for instance, are about 90-99% black people! But Condi never sees them because they are the little people.
What Condi really means is that she doesn't see "people who look like me" within her lucky, lucky, tiny little bubble of people she deigns important enough to have direct contact with her.
And, well, whose fault is that? The leadership of the State Department, perhaps?
I would LOVE to get some feedback from State Department Pony Pals™ on this one.
UPDATE: Fantastic, fantastic response from an anonymous State Dept. staffer in the comments. Must read!