An analysis of West Wing offices thus far handed out to senior advisers demonstrates that President Joe Biden’s innermost circle of aides with prized real estate in the building is mostly white.
Out of 22 offices on the first and second floors, only four offices, including one occupied by Vice President Kamala Harris, are held by nonwhite individuals. The rest — a supermajority of 18 such West Wing offices — are occupied by white people, according to Politico.
The report comes as Biden signed four executive orders on Tuesday focused on “racial equity,” remarking on the day of the signing that “deep racial inequities” exist in America and that “systemic racism” has “plagued our nation for far, far too long.”
Incidentally, of the 13 coveted first-floor offices that were identified, white people occupy 12 of them. See the outlet’s graphic, which it calls the “White House power map,” below:
We’ve done some digging and pieced together who occupies most of the offices on the first two floors of the West Wing.
— POLITICO (@politico) January 26, 2021
Senior adviser Mike Donilon and counselor Steve Ricchetti have offices just a few steps from the Oval Office, while Annie Tomasini, director of Oval Office operations, and Stephen Goepfert, the president’s personal aide, flank the Oval Office’s north side.
Chief of Staff Ron Klain occupies the second-largest office to the Oval Office, which, as CNN notes, comes with a fireplace and outdoor terrace. Down the hall from Klain, also in spacious suites, are National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Harris, the vice president and sole racial minority to possess an office on the first floor.
The rest of the first-floor map includes Deputy Chiefs of Staff Bruce Reed and Jen O’Malley Dillon, press secretary Jen Psaki, Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, and senior adviser Anita Dunn.
Politico caveated that there are “still a few gaps,” and according to several reports, many people who would normally occupy desks within the powerful wing are instead working remotely or situated elsewhere on the White House campus because of coronavirus-related restrictions that Biden’s administration has implemented.
The other three racial minorities Politico identified — Director of Public Engagement Cedric Richmond, Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice, and Deputy Director of Public Engagement Adrian Saenz — are situated on the second floor, along with six white officeholders.
Despite the map indicating a relatively monochromatic makeup of the West Wing’s first- and second-floor elite, Biden’s administration has made it a goal to “advance racial equity” while in office.
One of his 17 day-one executive orders, for instance, involved reversing the Trump administration’s ban on federal agencies conducting training that included “race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating,” a ban that was designed to counter concepts like Critical Race Theory. It also terminated the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, which aimed in part to accurately report on the role of slavery in American history. Biden claimed it “sought to erase America’s history of racial injustice.”
The White House stated of the order that the federal government, in its entirety, bears a responsibility to strive for “racial justice.”
“Affirmatively advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole of our Government,” the White House statement read.
The four “racial equity” executive orders Biden signed Tuesday addressed that concept in the areas of federally-funded housing, private prisons, tribal sovereignty, and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Biden, noting specifically that the White House itself bears responsibility for “advancing equity,” said Tuesday in a press conference of the orders, “Every White House component and every agency will be involved in this work because advancing equity has to be everyone’s job.”
The president added that he is “reaffirming the federal government’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and accessibility” and concluded that the nation’s “soul will be troubled as long as systemic racism is allowed to persist.”
Biden’s press office did not immediately respond to Breitbart News for comment on the demographics of the president’s West Wing officeholders.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.