Cameroonian journalist accuses WH Press Sec. of discrimination
Ateba clashed with Jean-Pierre, who left the White House frustrated shortly after the fallout.
Cameroonian journalist Simon Ateba, who is also the chief White House correspondent for Today News Africa, has accused US White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre of being discriminative against him and other African reporters during her daily briefings at the White House.
On Thursday, Ateba clashed with Jean-Pierre, who left the White House frustrated shortly after the fallout. The clash happened after Ateba asked Jean-Pierre about the US-Africa Leaders Summit which will be held in Washington in January.
Ateba accused Jean-Pierre and her predecessor, Jen Psaki, of ignoring his questions in addition to other press colleagues in the "back of the room" - namely correspondents from smaller news outlets.
“People like me, it's been a disaster, a catastrophe, covering the Biden White House,” Ateba told US media on Friday. “Right now I'm the voice of Africa in the US. But I can confirm that the level of discrimination against me and against African journalists in the White House is astounding, disgraceful.”
Ateba argued that his questions were disregarded due to his African accent, reminding Jean-Pierre that she is "an immigrant," and that he was shocked to get this treatment from her.
“It's shocking, because she's black, she's an immigrant… I'm black. I'm also an immigrant,” said Ateba of Jean-Pierre, who was born in France and moved to the US as a child. “The first thing, I sound different. I wasn't born here. I was born in Cameroon … I don't have the American accent. I've tried. I've failed."