Franklin D. Roosevelt was a savvy politician. He created a “Black Cabinet‘, while President, bringing together “prominent’ Black leaders as advisers to his office. He marketed that these Black leaders where helping him to understand how to include Black Americans in the economic prosperity of America.
By mid-1935, forty-five Black Americans in his “Black Cabinet’ had high position in Cabinet offices and New Deal agencies, albeit they were not ‘officially” cabinet members.
In 1936, this “Black Cabinet” began self describing as “The Federal Council on Negro Affairs”
Mary McLeod Bethune, director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration; William H. Hastie, Assistant Solicitor in the Department of the Interior; and Robert C. Weaver, who served as a special assistant to the Administrator of the United States Housing Authority, were among the Black Americans in FDR’s “Black Cabinet”.
However, FDR, while handing out “positions of personal prestige” to individual Black Americans, continued to advocate Jim Crow Laws in labor and education
Furthermore, each and every single Civil Rights Bill that was proposed under FDR was defeated by Democrat officials, with the strong support of FDR, the Democrat President.
Nevertheless, FDR’s “Black Cabinet” was his willing marketing tool to secure the coveted Black vote and they were more than happy to oblige.
Reminds of today’s Democrat Party and how it uses the Congressional Black Caucus as a sort of “Black Cabinet” to help secure the coveted Black vote, while simultaneously voting against Bills that would promote economic independence, school choice, and Right to Life for Black Americans.
One would have to ask, to be fair, what the Republican Party did during FDR’s tenure as President, to tangibly to counter the aggressive efforts of the Democrat Party to use propaganda and false perceptions to win the coveted Black vote at that time?
Most likely, the same thing they do now.
Seems that, as much as some things have changed, many things have remained the same in both parties and, most of all, with the “Black Cabinet”, many of whom traded in fighting for the collective good in exchange for personal advantage.
Those who fail to learn the valuable lessons of history, are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history.