Omarosa’s new book “Unhinged” has been released and, as a service to readers, I have read it.
As a writer, I appreciate that Omarosa’s prose is readable and interesting. She shares her own life story, and I’ll have to admit that her image as “the villain of the piece” on “The Apprentice” was about all I knew about her. Who knew that she had worked in the Clinton White House, for instance?
Towards the end of “Unhinged,” Omarosa’s book begins to echo the forthcoming Woodward book, which I will also read when it is released to the general public on September 11th. (Nice timing there. One national disaster is chronicled on the date of another).
Here is a paragraph from near the end of Omarosa’s book that seems to echo Woodward’s forthcoming book: “Rest assured that there is an army of people who oppose him and his policies. They are working silently and tirelessly to make sure he does not cause harm to the republic. Many in this silent army are in his party, his administration, and even in his own family.” Sound familiar? It should, because that is one of the principal tenets of Bob Woodward’s book, according to preliminary publicity.
Omarosa also writes, near the end of her book, “Change is coming. To bring it about we must be participants and not spectators in the pursuit of equality and unity. Together, we can make this country honor the sacrifices of our ancestors.” She uses that tired cliche, “We are all in the same boat now,” and her apologies for putting us in that boat are not nearly intense enough. She had “a blind spot” where Trump was concerned. She didn’t believe the tape of DJT using “the N word” existed.
As a writer, that is one good thing that Omarosa has done in her book. She has structured it as sort of a treasure hunt or detective search for the Holy Grail of the MIA “N” word tape—outtakes from “The Apprentice” where Donald J. Trump used the “N” word and other perjorative terms. Why this matters so much to Omarosa is more easily understood when we consider that she is an African American woman, but, at the end of the book, the reader feels a bit cheated not to at least read a transcription of same. One of the magician duo Penn & Teller has come forward and said he heard it, but, aside from that, we have only whispered conversations on the phone between Omarosa and co-workers who assure her that he DID say it.
My response to that is, “Who doubts it?” If he would wander off-script during a ceremony to honor the last of the Navajo code workers who helped win WWII, and, instead, insult U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren by calling her “Pocahontas,” then who doubts that Trump will continue using derogatory name-calling, whether it is “Little Marco,” “Lying Ted,” or “Low Energy Jeb?” Also noteworthy is that the ceremony to honor the Navajo code breakers was held under a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who ordered the “Trail of Tears” movement of native Americans to reservations, an atrocity that saw many of them die in one of our nation’s most tragic avoidable acts of atrocity towards the people who originally inhabited this land. Using slurs, racial and otherwise, is baked in Donald Trump’s DNA. It’s usually a sign of a person with an inferiority complex, who is striving to make himself (or herself) feel more important. [It is telling that “W” used it extensively, also. One of his Cabinet members lost respect for George W. Bush when he assigned everyone a nickname. He famously called his Chief Strategist Karl Rove “Turd Blossom.”]
One of the book’s most interesting portions, for me, a 37-year veteran educator, dealt with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. DeVos has absolutely no experience in education and it can be said that she bought her spot in the Cabinet. She refused to give opening remarks to the HBCU all-stars that Omarosa was championing, and Omarosa had to approach head of Cabinet Affairs Bill McGinley to get him to intervene. DeVos had tried to shut down the event by sending a blast notice that it was off. She cost the U.S. government $75,000 in cancellation fees. (The event ultimately went forward). She writes, “By June I’d given up on Betsy DeVos…” She goes on to say that she had made it her priority to get congressional support for HBCUs and overall African American policy priorities and, therefore, invited the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to meet with Trump on at least 2 occasions. (It did not go well.) Here are Omarosa’s words about Betsy DeVos:
“She is still serving and destroying the education system in this country. The depth and breadth of her ignorance is a travesty for the children. In each Cabinet meeting, I was seated in the row near her. I can tell you, after a year of sitting in those meetings and observing her, that she’s woefully inadequate and not equipped for her job. She is just as horrible as you suspect she is. When she recently visited New York City, she went to several schools, but not a single one that was run by the city. New York has more than 1,000,000 public school students, but she did not tour one public school. Not one. She does not care about your children. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.”