Friday, June 10, 2005

Is Bush’s New Nominee A Bigot?
Is Bush’s New Nominee A Bigot?

On May 10, 2005, the current director of the U.S. Mint, Henrietta Holsman Fore, was nominated by President Bush to be the next Under Secretary of State for Management. In announcing the nomination, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Fore would be instrumental in helping to “expand and support State Department management initiatives.”

The position of Under Secretary of Management is a vital one, as described by the State Department’s website. It is responsible for leading the offices of administration and human resources, which deal with the hiring and firing of personnel. Fore’s nomination to this post has raised many concerns due to her record of making racially-insensitive remarks.

Yesterday, Sen. Barack Obama grilled Fore over her previous comments in which she suggested blacks prefer pushing drugs on the street to working in factory jobs. Fore’s remarks came from a speech she gave at Wellesley University in 1987. Here’s how the New York Times covered that speech:

A Wellesley College trustee’s remark that blacks preferred pushing drugs to working in a factory has precipitated an emotional debate on this bucolic campus already grappling with charges of racial insensitivity…

The trustee, Henrietta Holsman, a 1970 graduate of Wellesley who runs a manufacturing concern in Los Angeles, resigned from the board last weekend after apologizing for her comments, which also cast aspersions on the work ethic of Hispanic and white employees. But in a letter to the college newspaper, Ms. Holsman reiterated her statement that she had trouble keeping black assembly-line workers from going ‘’back to the street to earn more money'’ selling drugs…

In her lecture, Ms. Holsman also said she had found Hispanic workers to be lazy, white workers resentful of having to work with machines, and Asians, while very productive, likely to move on to professional or management jobs. [NYT, 2/12/87]