Kellyanne Conway Asked To Name 'Prominent' Black Trump Staffer, Comes Up With Random 'Ja'Ron'
Professional liar Kellyanne Conway turned up on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, where host Jonathan Karl had her play an impromptu game of "Stump the Band." The song title was "Black People in a Prominent White House Role," and although she tap danced furiously for a while, she couldn't come up with the melody.
Now you'd think if there were any black people in the White House, Conway could locate them. Blindfold her, spin her around until she's almost dizzy and set her loose in the West Wing, she'd stumble around for a bit and then declare, "Negro in vicinity. Clutching purse tighter ... tighter ... Negro approaching! Negro approaching!"
Karl's question, of course, was silly because Donald Trump's administration is racist and vile and no decent black person in their right mind would want anything to do with it. (Please note the deliberate phrasing here, as it will prove important later when discussing Trump-affiliated black folks who are neither decent nor in their right mind.)
Karl opened with this absurd set-up: "Omarosa was the most prominent, high-level African-American serving in the West Wing on President Trump's staff. " Just to catch you up, Omarosa Manigault Newman (whom people refer to by her first name only like she's a cut-rate Charo) is a grifter loon, so basically Trump never had any black people in prominent White House roles. If all you have in your kitchen drawers are some plastic forks that came with your GrubHub orders, you don't actually have silverware.
Conway however did try to identify the black person who currently serves as Trump's "voice of the people" now that Omarosa is gone and no longer recording everything with the impunity of a bootlegger at a Beyoncé concert. She mentioned "world-renowned" furniture shopper Ben Carson, who -- whaddaya know? -- is still screwing over poor people at HUD but doesn't actually work in the White House. Then her internal "Negro Detector" malfunctioned at the worst possible moment and she just blurted out a random black name.
"We have Ja'Ron, who's done a fabulous job, been very involved with -- he's been very involved with Jared Kushner and President Trump on prison reform from the beginning," Conway said. "He's been there from the beginning. He worked with Omarosa and others."
You'll be forgiven for thinking that "Ja'Ron" (no, not him) doesn't actually exist and that Conway has no idea what this person she made up on the spot actually does. But no, Ja'Ron Smith -- who is totally not a Russian spy wearing a Samuel L. Jackson Pulp Fiction wig -- is a "legislative affairs" aide. Of course, if he worked with Omarosa, he likely wasn't playing a critical role in the running of the country. It's possible he was just managing a Hardee's franchise from a spare office next to where Sarah Sanders goes to eat her lunch of fried green hamsters.
"There are plenty of people," Conway said. "If you're going by that and not by the actions of the President, which you probably should, then -- then you should look at the fact that we have a number of different minorities, and the fact is that this President is doing well for all Americans."
Oh my god! She just sort of "All Lives Matter"-ed the question. I mean, the president's actions would include hiring actual black people. Trump's White House is whiter than Sorkin's first season of "The West Wing." He doesn't even have a Charlie, which was basically "president's black butler." You'd think Trump would love that.
Conway usually comes across like a used car salesman, but when she boasts that the White House has a "number of different minorities," it sounds like she's trying to unload something that's been sitting on the lot for months when I specifically requested a black Trump staffer with the C.B. and optional rally fun pack.
But really, the question shouldn't be why no black people work for Trump. It should be why Kellyanne Conway is still gainfully employed and permitted to vomit gibberish on TV every week.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).