Omarosa Manigault Newman has to be the most unpopular Black woman since Izola Curry. In 1958, Curry stabbed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a book signing in Harlem.
The few brownie points Omarosa received for feuding with President Donald Trump recently maybe elevated her to the level of Rachel Dolezal, the woman who’s not even Black, but who masqueraded as a Black woman, even leading a chapter of the NAACP.
Omarosa’s sins are much more enduring, and without a major, public mea culpa and period when she’s seen wandering the streets in sackcloth and ashes, she will never get back her mythical “Black Card.”
She maybe deserves some sympathy, but she gets very little. After all, she attended and earned a degree from Howard University, a preeminent HBCU, before she sold her soul on “The Apprentice” TV show, and later in service to the Trump 2016 campaign and in the White House.
Before her White House firing last December, she had been the highest ranking (and only) Black person on Trump’s West Wing staff. She supported and defended him during some of his most bitter racial episodes—Trump’s racist “birtherism” campaign against former President Barack Obama; his description of some African nations as “shithole” countries; his insults to prominent blacks like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). She once even told PBS’ “Frontline,” “Every critic, every detractor will have to bow down under President Trump.”
Now however, she says The Donald “used” her, calling him a “con” who “has been masquerading as someone who is actually open to engaging with diverse communities” but is “truly a racist.”
This should be evident since “you see at every single opportunity, he insults African-Americans,” she told interviewer Trevor Noah.
Trump’s response to Manigault-Newman has been brutal.
“When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out,” Trump said via Twitter. “Good work by [White House chief of staff John] Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”
Julianne Malveaux, former president of Bennett College for Women, excoriated the president for his comments.
“That man does not have the right to call her a dog,” Malveaux said. “That goes beyond the pale. It is consistent with the historical dehumanization of Black people, which allowed us to be enslaved, and de-feminization of Black women, which allowed us to be raped.
“White men were never held accountable for our rapes and our sexual violations until the 1950s,” she said. And so for this man, the so-called president of the United States, to call this woman out in this way is repugnant, and needs to be rejected.”
Marshawn Evans Daniels, another Black woman who appeared on “The Apprentice” 13 years ago, also condemned Trump, saying that any claim his tirades against prominent Black people aren’t racially charged “is just willful ignorance and putting lipstick on a pig.”
“There is a phrase in the Bible, that: ‘Out of the overflow of your heart, your mouth speaks,’ and I can’t judge someone’s heart, but you can tell a tree by its fruit,” Evans-Daniels said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” of Trump’s routine condemnation of non-Whites around the world, not just in the U.S.
Malveaux said that nevertheless doesn’t excuse the years of complicity by Omarosa.
“The challenge to Omarosa is, how you can now, after the fact, run on television and say, ‘Oh, I misjudged him’? No. you knew him for 15 years,” Malveaux said. “I will not allow her to be called a dog. But I also will not allow us to give her a pass.
“The challenge is [Trump’s] colleagues are so excited about the spoils, that they don’t understand the extent to which the game has basically eroded all of our dignity,” she said. “In other words, Republicans are getting the Supreme Court. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they’re happy about. But at what cost?”
Evans Daniels agrees.
“Martin Luther King has said that, ‘It’s not the words of our enemies that we will remember, but silence of our friends,’ she said. “And what concerns me are the people who are remaining silent, particularly evangelical leaders in this country who have chosen to stand very close to him.
“I think it creates a challenge, when we begin to believe and showcase that Christianity and racism can co-exist,” she continued. “That’s dangerous. That’s territory that I don’t think the evangelical leadership realizes that we’re crossing into, territory that it may take us decades to get back from. The idea that someone who would call a woman a dog, call Maxine Waters a woman of ‘low intelligence,’ that he would make statements so cavalier, in a sense of arrogance and entitlement, the idea that he wouldn’t is very unlikely.
“So the question is not whether he said it,” Evans Daniels said. “It’s not about the polls, it’s about the people. Who are we as a country? Who are we as Americans? Who are we as believers? And what are we going to do about it?”