You’d think, as a woman of color, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and her campaign would be more understandable to the minority plight. After all, her 1/64ths to 1/1024ths of Native American blood entitles her to that, right?
And yet it seems for all her talk of slavery reparations, the valuing of “women of color” and the condemnation of white privilege, those who actually find themselves in the minority find it hard to take her seriously.
Why? You might ask.
Well, apparently, all that talk is just that. Nothing more than mere words spoken to gain a few votes. Because as quite a few of Warren’s former staffers can attest to, her campaign has little concern for actual minorities.
As a recent article from Politico reports, in the past few months, a total of six women of color have left their positions in her campaign, claiming that they have been mistreated because of their race and gender. And that’s only counting those who have left her team in Nevada.
Of the six, politico was able to speak to three of the women, who all agreed that the congresswoman’s campaign had marginalized them, using them to add diversity to their office, while not really seeing them as people who could contribute anything of importance. Furthermore, it was noted that once these instances were made aware to the human resources department, the situation was either ignored or, in some cases, even worsened.
One such woman was Megan Lewis, who had held a position as a field organizer in Nevada since May. She told Politico, “During the time I was employed with Nevada for Warren, there was definitely something wrong with the culture. I filed a complaint with HR, but the follow-up I received left me feeling as though I needed to make myself smaller or change who I was to fit into the office culture.”
Another woman, who claimed anonymity, reported similar office circumstances. She said, “I felt like a problem – like I was there to literally bring color into the space but not the knowledge and voice that comes with it. We all were routinely silenced and not given a meaningful chance on the campaign.”
She added, “Complaints, comments, advice, and grievances were met with an earnest shake of the head and progressive buzzwords but not much else.”
The third woman, also wanting to remain anonymous, said the same.
And when these cases of mistreatment came into the public eye, the answer from the campaign was just about the same as it had been for each one of these women, “progressive buzzwords but not much else.”
Kristen Orthman, a Warren campaign spokeswoman, gave a sorry-not-sorry statement insisting that while “we strive for an inclusive environment” and “it’s important that everyone who is part of our team has a voice and can be heard,” these women somehow didn’t fit into the overall image and culture their campaign wanted to exude. As you can imagine, this didn’t really sit all that well with many, including many who were already on the fence about the not so original candidate.
Warren quickly tried to cover up this mistake, going on national airways herself on Thursday evening to issue a more believable apology after a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire.
She said, “I believe these women completely and without reservation, and I apologize that they have had a bad experience on this campaign.” However, she clouded her apology by adding blaming what happened to these women on our nation and the “legacy of racism” in it.
She stated, “I also understand the long legacy of racism in this country an what it means and how it creates power dynamics and inequities that are toxic and dangerous. And that’s why it’s so important that we be constantly vigilant and determined to do better.”
And while her apology might be heartfelt, blaming others for something that happened on her watch does little to assuage the pain of being mistreated, especially by someone these women thought they could trust, who was supposed to be fighting for them.
Furthermore, it leads us to question just how Warren plans to manage the issue of race she continually goes on about in this country when she can’t even handle her own employees and their concerns. A team of 70 is nothing in comparison to the 330 million she is fighting to lead as president of the United States.