There was a House committee meeting involving Chertoff and and several staffers from Homeland Security. What was on the Democrats' minds? Threats to our national security? Not so much. They seemed to be more concerned about the diversity among the folks appearing before the committee from the DHS.
From The Corner at NRO this morning:
Definition of "Bean Counting" [John J. Miller]
From a House hearing yesterday with DHS secretary Michael Chertoff, according to the Wash Post:
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) asked all the Chertoff aides sitting behind him at the hearing to stand up. Men in ties and jackets, all of whom appeared to be Caucasian, stood up. Without comment, Scott moved on to ask Chertoff about another issue.
But Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.) returned to the diversity question. "You brought 10 staff people with you," he said, "all white males. . . . But I hope you've got more diversity in your staff than is reflected here. Please reassure me that is the case."
"I think that is definitely the case," Chertoff said.
"Okay," Watt said, and appeared to begin moving to another question.
But Chertoff continued: "I wouldn't assume that the ethnic background of everybody behind me is self-evident."
Watt replied: "I wouldn't assume the ethnic background of everybody behind you is self-evident, but I think I know an African American when I see one. . . . If anyone wants to stand up and volunteer and tell me they are an African American, I hope they will do that right now."
No one stood. Some in the audience began laughing.
"If anybody is a female that's sitting back there and wants to stand up and volunteer to tell me that," Watt continued, "I hope they will do that right now. And I want the record to show clearly that nobody stood up to volunteer in either one of those categories.
"So if you want to make that point and be cute about it," Watt said, "let me be explicit about it. . . . If we are going to do law enforcement in this country . . . we need to understand that there is an element of diversity in our country that is not represented here."
There is more than one or two kinds of diversity:
As it turns out, there was indeed diversity in the group, a DHS spokesman said yesterday. One of the men was of Peruvian heritage, he said, another was born in Russia of Jewish heritage and a third was a lawyer originally from Iran.
These folks are idiots.