White House Racism Alleged At Correspondents' Dinner

Kim LaCapria

A tale of White House racism at the high-profile White House Correspondents' Dinner last month has appeared on the Huffington Post, alleging some pretty terrible treatment aimed at the woman (the wife of guest) who penned the column.

The White House racism claim involves security staff and their purported baldly applied double standards in regards to the attendee's wife, Seema Jilani, who was trying to get keys from her spouse.

Jilani, who was not in possession of a ticket, says security staff engaged in a litany of profiling-type behavior as she tearfully attempted to obtain the needed keys from her spouse, allowing several white women without tickets to pass through as she watched in horror.

Jilani's husband is a journalist and, she dryly notes, spouses "who are not participating in the hideous schmooze-fest that is this evening are relegated to attending the cocktail hour only, if that." It was after the cocktail hour Jilani realized she'd forgotten the keys and her White House racism tale begins.

She says at the ticket taking area, she was halted while others without tickets were allowed passage, and explains:

"[White House security] abruptly responded, 'You can't go down without a ticket.' I explained my situation and that I just wanted my keys from my husband in the foyer and that I wouldn't need to enter in the ballroom. They refused to let me through ... Then something remarkable happened. I watched as they let countless other women through -- all Caucasian -- without even asking to see their tickets."

Jilani adds:

"I asked why they were allowing them to go freely when they had just told me that I needed a ticket. Their response? 'Well, now we are checking tickets.' He rolled his eyes and let another woman through, this time actually checking her ticket. His smug tone, enveloped in condescension, taunted, 'See? That's what a ticket looks like.' "

But Jilani's White House racism claim takes a darker turn when she quotes what one security staffer allegedly said as she queried the double standard. She recalls his words:

"We have to be extra careful with you all after the Boston bombings."

Jilani's White House racism claim has not been corroborated, but she says that guards went on to baselessly accuse her of crashing the event the previous year.

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