There was a time when overt racism would get a speaker booed off a stage. But Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice got a warm reception at Florida International University, where she delivered a commencement address Wednesday, which included the view there are too many white people in key government positions and that this endangers national security.
In the halls of power, in the faces of our national security leaders, America is still not fully reflected. By now, we should all know the dangers of ‘groupthink,’ where folks who are alike often think alike. By contrast, groups comprised of different people tend to question one another’s assumptions, draw on divergent perspectives and experiences, and yield better outcomes.
Intelligence analysts, diplomats and military officers who are native speakers may pick up subtle nuances that might otherwise go unnoticed. Diplomats who can read cultural cues may better navigate the political and social currents of a foreign nation. In sum, leaders from diverse backgrounds can often come up with more creative insights, proffer alternative solutions and thus make better decisions.
It’s not immediately clear what she meant by native speakers, but the rest of the statement suggests it was something other than whites, and especially white males, regardless of where they were born.
And, the Washington Times added, Barack Obama agrees:
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Mr. Obama agrees with that sentiment.
“The president certainly believes that our government is most effective and is making the best decisions when we have a government that looks like the country,” he said.
Mr. Obama has been criticized for increasingly surrounding himself with an inner circle of aides who think like him and reject advice outside the West Wing, particularly from the Pentagon. In his second term, he is said to rely most heavily on a handful of trusted advisers, including chief of staff Denis McDonough, a former NSC official; Ms. Rice and her deputy, Ben Rhodes; U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power; Treasury Secretary Jack Lew; and Vice President Joseph R. Biden.
The president often hits back at his critics, saying he doesn’t surround himself with “yes men” and that he presses his advisers for all points of view during internal policy debates. Still, former Defense secretaries of both parties such as Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel have said they felt shut out sometimes by the president’s cadre of West Wing advisers.
This is the kind of nonsense you get when political correctness trumps common sense.