Desiree Rogers and Fort Hood: The Case For Affirmative Action
When Mark Todd brought down the Fort Hood shooter, his image and his name were withheld and another was credited with his achievement. When secret service employees failed to follow protocol, even after the Secret Service Director accepted responsibility, Desiree Rogers was blamed.
After pulling off an eye-popping, gasp worthy state dinner, with attendee ratings ranging from A to A+, major media ignored Desiree Rogers' achievement, and obscured it by making her the subject of the false claim that she was responsible for two interlopers gaining access to the White House.
In the past several weeks, major media, and people in authority, have told lies, and mischaracterized facts, in order to credit a white woman with a black man's achievement, in the case of Fort Hood; and to assign a white man's failure to a black woman, in the case of the wrongful admission to the White House, of Michaele and Tareq Salahi. This demonstration of aggressive withholding of beneficial entitlements, while misassigning blame, makes a case for affirmative action. These events suggest that there are significant numbers of people in power, who apply energy and resources to prevent *Diasporans from accessing earned benefits, while assigning to them, undeserved burdens and blame. There should be some compensation, or at least protection, for that.
Desiree Rogers didn't fail at anything, yet on the first page of a Google search, using the word "fail," with her name, produces almost twice the titles and phrases, suggesting that she did fail, than Katie Couric and Carly Fiorina, white woman who were paid millions to accomplish something, that they did not. And the Secret Service Director, Mark Sullivan, a white man, who actually did fail, and admitted it, has been stubbornly shielded from criticism, to the extent that the only time the word failure is applied to his name, is when he does it.
That failing is ours. Our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list.
What's the matter with Washington? what's not to love about a beautiful, stylish, Ivy League educated Diasporan women with an MBA from Harvard, who earned $350,000 in salary, and $1.8 million for a seven month project, before giving up the money to serve the President? Could it be the $2.8 million fortune she amassed as a high performing professional? Or is it her impeccable taste, borne out in high fashion designer clothes? Perhaps it's the flawless social events she creates and manages with precision? Or maybe it's how well liked she is, marked by a whimsical personality that charms? Then it might be the mothering skills she applied to her beautiful daughter, who emerged from it as a quality human being, who is socially skillful, and academically achieved enough, to gain admission to Yale? Are these the reasons that the DC Press is screaming for her head? Blame it on my low profile lifestyle, but I would think that Desiree Rogers is, the type of female, that most of us hope our daughters will grow up to be.
Soooo, what's up DC? Probably it’s a case of, when race and gender combine.
When race and gender combine, racism extracts it's due, as in Rogers blamed for a white man's error, while not getting acknowledge for the superb state dinner that she orchestrated. Meanwhile, for Diasporan women, gender benefits fall away, as in she is denied protection and feminine exceptions, like those given to Katie Couric and Carly Fiorina, and she is made even more accountable than a man. In addition, gender disparagement is intensified, due to the indulgence of sexist denigration, as long as it is in color; making Desiree Roger's behind fair game, even if Hillary Clinton's ankles are not. In an article about Desiree Rogers, we are given her image from the rear, entitled "Desiree Rogers and her Resume!" It doesn't get more explicit than that . . .
Her posterior is the talking point for her achievements, to make light of them, to disparage them:
Rogers has bounced her butt into more lucrative chairs and luxurious laps than Madame Du Barry! Butt! Chicagoans know and love the antics of Desiree Rogers
As though the fact that she has done well, should somehow be counted against her:
Desiree Rogers has flitted from one well-paying job to more handsomely remunerated positions of power to the White House itself . . .
It is fantastic to realize that the mischaracterization of the White House Social Secretary's role, in the wrongful admission of the Sahali's, is solely the product of one disgruntled employee. And she did it by the power of definition. The power of definition supports white people in defining things associated with black people, according to their prerogative, instead of the truth. It is a tool of racism, that is born out of a sense of entitlement, and that is supported by the social favor whites receive, when their opponent is black.
Without questioning the motives, of a disgruntled employee, who is on record as admiring Glen Beck, a man who called the President a racist, and whose favorite charity is the Barbara Bush Foundation, and who herself disparaged the President by referring to his teleprompter as a "politician," inferring that the President's knowledge is limited to what he can reads.
And despite what Cathy Hargraves called a "tense meeting," with Desiree Rogers in February, that resulted in unwanted changes in her job description; and her characterization of her departure as in protest of that, even though she left in June, after her husband obtained a job, that allowed them to return to their home state, Texas. Nevertheless, major media thought it prudent to allow a former Assistant for Arrangements, to call out the White House Social Secretary, as possibly responsible for the admission of uninvited interlopers to the White House, at an event that she didn't even attend. According to her, if her job had not been changed, and the list management practice of the Bush Administration had been used, the Sahali's would not have gotten in. But what she neglected to say is that when the list management practice of the Bush Administration was in effect, there were also uninvited interlopers who gained admission. As a matter of fact, over the past 30 years, there have been 91 breaches of White House Security.
Cathy Hargraves' criticism was not press worthy to begin with, and it was totally without merit, since the interlopers did not gain entry because the new protocol failed, they gained entry because Secret Service employees did not do their jobs!
Our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list.
If Cathy Hargraves had been present, but did not do her job, the interlopers would have gotten past her too! Finally, it was wholly irresponsible for the media to call into question the performance of Desiree Rogers, a woman with a spotless record, based on the say so of a disgruntled employee, who was not present, and who lacks the experience, background, attitude and authority, to act as a spokesperson for White House social protocol.
If one presumes that Cathy Hargraves is not malicious, it is clear that she doesn't understand the basics of list management. You have to do it for it to work! It does not matter if the Social Staff is physically accessible during social events, as they were during the Bush administration, or accessible by phone, as they were during the Obama State Dinner, if the admitting person does not adhere to the list, then uninvited people may gain admission.
Finally, In addition to lending itself to Cathy Hargraves, as a tool by which to challenge her boss, major media let her symbolically bitch slap Rogers too. By the power of definition, Cathy Hargraves gave words unspoken meanings. When she demures, "for me, (state dinners) are magical moments," it means that the absolutely magical creation, accomplished by Desiree Rogers, for the Obama Administration, is not, what it is, unless she says so. Next, the lightly spoken comment that Desiree Rogers possibly "didn't realize . . .going into it," the organization and work required for state dinners, means that the seamlessly flawless presentation, that was the Obama State Dinner, and that could only have been accomplished by meticulous organization and hard work, is not what it is, unless she says so. Keep in mind, that this is a subordinate, speaking about her boss.
In addition to the press, politicians, most notably Representative Peter King, shored up Cathy Hargraves' effort to bring her former employer down.
Once again the power of definition was brought into play. Facts like, Desiree Rogers was not responsible for security, did not have responsibility for admitting guest, had no staff assigned to the area where the breach occurred, were dismissed, and symbols and rituals, inferring guilt or wrongdoing, were applied to Desiree Roger's name.
Nothing makes a person look more guilty, than a demand for their appearance, before an authoritative body, to explain their actions, and that's just what Peter King did to Desiree Rogers. Through his role on the Homeland Security Committee, he arranged hearings about the breach of security, leading to the mistaken admission of Michaele and Tareq Salahi, and he made the most noise about his interest in questioning Desiree Rogers.
The other thing that makes people look guilty is if you question their behavior and motives, and the Congressman did that too. He said "it was very interesting . . .that Desiree Rogers, almost right out of the box, said 'there was nobody from my office there.'" That's not interesting, that's normal! Anyone proximate to wrongdoing, that could mistakenly be attributed to them, wants to quickly distance herself from the trouble. Desiree Rogers probably breathed a sigh of relief when she learned that the breach occurred in an area that she was not responsible for, and she was quick to report that the error did not occur on her watch - her people weren't even there.
In addition to the Congressman, Bush's Former Chief of Protocol, Donald Ensenat, placed the blame squarely in Desiree Rogers' lap. According to him, "the Secret Service is being made the scapegoat."
In an e-mail to CBS News, Ensenat blames the Office of the White House Social Secretary for not having staffers with the invitation list at each of the access checkpoints for guests. Ensenat thinks it's the Social Secretary's job to have refused entry to anyone not on the guest list.
Once again, the power of definition rules. Significant details, like who actually was responsible for admitting guest aren't important to Donald Ensenat, or even who was in charge, and what the protocol was, are without weight against the unique social privilege to define certain people, without regard for facts. According to Ensenat, Desiree Rogers is at fault, even if the facts say otherwise, even if the guilty party has confessed, even if he has absolutely no knowledge of how the breach occurred, and he has no authority to assign blame. Desiree Rogers is guilty, because he says so.
It would be interesting to learn who he blamed for the breach of security during his watch.
Along with the political types, major media brought it home for Cathy Hargraves, at Desiree Rogers' expense.
Maureen Dowd goes after Desiree Rogers without restraint. She calls her "goofy," and advises her to go low before the Congressional Homeland Committee, in "designer sackcloth and pearls of remorse," to "apologize," even though she's done nothing wrong, and they should be apologizing to her. Demonstrating another power of definition tactic, namely, calling for action, that infers something, that the facts don’t support.
Maureen says that Desiree is looking "weaker," inferring that she generally appears weak. Accusing her of letting Mark Sullivan, the Secret Service Director "take the rap," when he took it, because it belongs to him! But the fact that he admitted he was at fault, means nothing to Maureen, she’s determined to make Desiree Rogers, Mark Sullivan's whipping boy. She wants Desiree Rogers to take the punishment, for him.
Fluff Chance, like Maureen, wants to dress Rogers down, and make her over, in a less enviable image:
My advice to her is put away those American Spirit cigarettes or whatever it is she's smoking, and pick up that pad and pen and start taking dictation.
Then April Ryan came undone, demanding to know if Desiree Roger invited herself to the White House State Dinner, and like Desiree's other detractors, she tried to make Desiree's job less impressive,
Secretaries are the ones that put their names on that list.
For the final act, DC's major media teamed up for a crescendo of criticism that faulted Desiree Rogers for everything from sitting in the front row at a fashion show, sitting down to dinner at the White House, obtaining high paying jobs, having powerful friends and a former husband who is rich; being rich herself, and waving from a float during a Mardi Gras parade . . . They were just so mad at Desiree Rogers for being sooo . . . . good. And they were intent on punishing her, for exceeding their expectations.
Mean girls don't have anything on them. they created, arraigned and produced Desiree Rogers insults, that catapulted media madness to a new level. In their words, Desiree Rogers is:
Turning the People's House into Desiree's House
Basking in the limelight
Wears a Pixie cut and high-altitude heels
Mad for clothes . . . she can't be buying . . .because she's changing too often
Most likely playing the favor game and getting racks of clothes in the bargain (Attends) fashion shows and is constantly mugging (for the camera)
Plays the quick change fashion show junkie
Clearly had some very good work done to enhance her loveliness
Sashays around and poses in magazines as though she were the first lady
Came out (like) the bell of the ball, overshadowing the first lady
Feels on equal footing with our First Lady
Too evident, too grasping and too ambitious
Incredible self regard . . .is her most valuable credential
One who thinks her gas is a luxe scent blended just for her
May have got the job with the help of Grandma who was a Voodoo Priestess Behind the scenes waving her twisted wand.
The only thing missing from their tirade, aimed at bringing Desiree Rogers low, is a description of anything that Desiree Rogers did, that was wrong, or unkind.
So Cathy Hargraves wrongfully attacked her former boss, with information born out of ignorance, and resentment, and the media, and some Republican politicians, helped her to do it. And even though, the Secret Service Director, Mark Sullivan, admitted he was to blame, they chose not to accept that, declaring him a "scapegoat," who was "taking the rap."
Before this breach, media, and these politicians, let pass 91 White House breeches, including two that involved the president that they served under, and the party that they belong to. But now that they can introduce a perspective that undermines a Diasporan woman, they’re all involved. Like when they let George Bush's spending, bury us in debt; but now they oppose Barack Obama spending, to buy the shovel, that will dig us out!
Imagine Mark Sullivan's social advantage over Desiree Rogers, when he, as the person responsible for White House security, assigned to the task of admitting people, after they are identified on a list, with the additional requirement to call the Social Secretary's office, if a person who is not on the list, requests admission. But his staff admits a couple who were not on the list, and they did not call the Social Secretary's Office, and he admits that his staff did not follow protocol, yet people deny his culpability, and they blame Desiree Rogers instead.
Rep. Peter King called hearings, and Donald Ensenat went to the press, with the nonsense idea that Desiree Rogers should explain why she did not do, what she was not supposed to do. Meanwhile, they excused Mark Sullivan, for not doing, what he was supposed to do.
This double-double standard, when race and gender combine, is a waste of time, energy and productivity. The magical event of the state dinner, from the First Lady's dazzling gold gown, to the Indian honoring dress theme, menu and guest list, to the gorgeous, mesmerizing and complex, yet exquisitely on point, color scheme, which went off without a hitch, demonstrated Desiree Rogers' talent for producing outstanding events, that dazzle and compel the world; thereby increasing our standing in the world. It's time for the racist, and the sexist, to stand down. Let Desiree Rogers do her thing!
*Diasporan: A descendant of a survivor of the African diaspora