At the very beginning of the new administration, and probably in a moment of hubris, Omarosa Manigault, an aide to President Donald Trump, promised that the first newspaper interview with the new president would go to a member of the Black press. Nobody took her seriously. In fact, such a meeting has yet to occur, prompting me to think that, given the disastrous encounters with other Black groups—such as Black college presidents—perhaps it is best that such a meeting never happens.

Omarosa Manigault is director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

As someone who began his career working for a Black-owned newspaper, I’m well aware that those of us who have toiled in the black media are used to being ignored or mistreated by public officials. I never expected President Trump to meet with the Black press. Like the community that spawned them, Black journalists have always felt the sting of second-class citizenship.

The recent to-do between White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and April Ryan—the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, a consortium of black-oriented radio stations—is an example. Spicer chided her as he evaded her question about a White man killing a Black man in New York. “Stop shaking your head again,” Spicer hectored Ryan. There is nothing new about such patronizing, bordering on racist, behavior.   More…