“The first time I met Sen. Feinstein, there were two Black dudes in the meeting and she called me the other Black guy’s name. She called me his name. We look nothing alike. We are two different shades. He wears a beard,” said Purley, who was fired from Feinstein’s office reportedly for performance-related issues.
Purley continued, “The big conference room in our office became the place I hated most because it was there that I could literally see just how few Black people worked in our office.”
Raising concerns during a staff meeting over how “black people are dying because they don’t have access to the resources we can provide them,” he was told the office has to focus on other priorities. “That’s when I gave a 10 to 15-minute speech about how the Senator doesn’t care about Black people. Then when other staffers finally chimed in, they totally whitewashed my words… I repeated that the Senator cares more about Kirby, her f–kin’ dog, than black people. I said, ‘You gotta be f–king kidding me. I’ve been working here five years; the Senator has never walked by my desk. That’s why every Black and Brown person is leaving this office.’”
Purley then related his experience entering Feinstein’s room:
I went into the conference room which was the worst room for me because that’s the room where I knew what it meant to be black in a white office.
So I walk in her office, Feinstein’s office, which triggered a screaming white noise sound. I had only been in her actual office like twice in five years and I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the white noise sound. It was giving me so much anxiety because it sounded like when the cops show up. So then I was like, f–k it. I just gotta do something for 10 minutes and I can finally leave. So I’d brought my Bose speaker. I used her bathroom, then I go sit at her desk. I turn on my speaker and start the music. I start smoking that joint, an afghani, a heavy indica, because I knew I needed to be calm. I thought about how special my mom and Black women would feel seeing me dance to that song in particular, in a space where they aren’t welcome at all. Then I started the video.
“That was the best night of my motherf—ing life,” he added.