Karine Jean-Pierre Makes History at White House Press Briefing

Illustration for article titled Karine Jean-Pierre Makes History at White House Press Briefing
Photo: Win McNamee (iStock by Getty Images)

When Karine Jean-Pierre stepped to the podium in the White House press briefing room on Wednesday, not only was she the first openly gay woman to do so, she was also the first Black woman to host a White House press briefing in 30 years. (The Root has confirmed that she is openly Black.)

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CNN reports that Principal Deputy Press Secretary Jean-Pierre took questions from reporters and Peter Doocy during her first turn behind the lectern that we all pray to God was cleaned by Fabuloso after Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kayleigh McEnany used it during the previous administration. Not since Judy Smith, deputy press secretary for George H.W. Bush, briefed the press in 1991 has a Black woman served as the official spokesperson for the White House.

During the press briefing, Jean-Pierre also congratulated Kristen Clarke, who was sworn in on Tuesday as the first Black woman to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Jean-Pierre also spoke about the...

Wait. That can’t be right. Only two Black women? In 245 years? How is that possible? I don’t think that’s right.

The New York Times reports:

Her appearance at the podium on Wednesday was seen both internally and externally as an audition for the press secretary job; Jen Psaki, the current White House press secretary, recently said that she intended to leave the post after about a year.

A former State Department spokeswoman, Ms. Psaki came to the job more battle-tested — and more familiar to the Washington press corps — than Ms. Jean-Pierre, who has worked on Democratic campaigns and as the chief public affairs officer at the liberal group MoveOn.

Ms. Jean-Pierre, 43, is not the heir apparent to replace Ms. Psaki; other names put forth include Symone D. Sanders, the vice president’s press secretary, and Ned Price, the State Department spokesman. But Ms. Jean-Pierre has had frequent contact with the White House press corps in recent months.

OK. I have no idea what “battle-tested” means but I’m pretty sure Symone Sanders actually proved she has a black belt in wishing a motherfucker would. To be fair, previous administrations probably thought a Black woman who wasn’t “battle-tested” might break down during a press conference and tell Fox News to keep the president’s name out of their mouths. Don’t forget about when Jean-Pierre graciously offered her share of “that smoke” to a protester who tried to grab the microphone from Kamala Harris. Perhaps the only Black women allowed in the White House are former members of the Dora Milaje.

After all, Jean-Pierre is relatively inexperienced. She’s only served as regional political director for two political campaigns (Barack Obama and John Edwards), chief of staff for Kamala Harris, national spokesperson for MoveOn, lectured in public affairs at Columbia University and wrote a best-selling book.

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Also, America is not a racist country.

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DISCUSSION

marceline8
Marceline

I know we aren’t supposed to talk about smart professional women in terms of their looks but my God, Karine’s skin is just luminous. Mask wearing destroyed my skin and I’m trying to get it back into shape because I’m returning to work full time in July. I just want Karine to lay hands on me and pray that my skin looks half as good as hers.

Ms. Jean-Pierre, 43, is not the heir apparent to replace Ms. Psaki; other names put forth include Symone D. Sanders, the vice president’s press secretary, and Ned Price, the State Department spokesman

I know Joe is all about elevating women but just as an experiment I’d be interested to see how differently some of the usual suspects would be with a white man back behind the podium. Specifically, would they interrupt as much? Because a lot of these assholes interrupt Psaki way too much.