Conyers wants Haiti Relief Official Demoted Over Lack of Black Staffers

Posted: Feb 04, 2010 5:02 PM
In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Representative John Conyers, D-Mich., called for the demotion of USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah--the official currently coordinating America's Haiti relief efforts--for not having enough minority staffers. 

Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, sent the letter to Clinton after Shah met with the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) yesterday and showed up with (gasp!) no black staff members:
Dear Secretary Clinton:

As you know, the 42 member Congressional Black Caucus met with Rajiv Shah, the Administrator of the U.S. AID yesterday to discuss the crisis in Haiti. I was alarmed and chagrined to learn that none of the approximately dozen staff he brought with him were African American. This is so serious an error in judgement (sic) that it warrants his immediate demotion to a subordinate position at AID. It is well known  that there has long been an under-representation of minorities in key positions within the State Department. I am confident this Administration will immediately begin addressing this problem.

I look forward to meeting with you on this matter.

John Conyers, Jr.
Member of Congress
An "under-representation of minorities in key positions"?  Rajiv Shah himself is a minority.

In addition, I'd like Rep. Conyers, a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, to know that I am "alarmed and chagrined" to know there are groups like his operating on Capitol Hill that are racially exclusive--including the CBC, which has turned away white members of Congress and insists on remaining "exclusively African American."