Man, Jamarcus Purley sure showed them.
Purley has degrees from Stanford and Harvard, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was (with emphasis on that verb tense) a legislative aide in the office of Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. He told the online outlet Latino Rebels that he rose from poverty in Pine Bluff, Arkansas — “a dangerous city with a lotta heart” — to complete an Ivy League postgraduate education and walk the halls of Capitol Hill.
Then he got fired for “performance issues” after ranting on a staff call that Feinstein “cares more about her dog than black people.” After that, in the throes of a hallucinogenic mushroom trip, Purley went back to the Capitol and shot a video of himself smoking a marijuana blunt in Feinstein’s office while blasting DeBarge’s “I Like It.”
At least he won’t have to explain why he doesn’t have a reference from his previous job.
This should serve as nothing more than proof that Nancy Reagan didn’t necessarily have the wrong idea when she implored us to “just say no,” yet Purley is now enjoying 15 minutes of fame for this debacle.
The bad news is that after it’s over, he becomes toxic to pretty much any employer with credibility. The good news is that if he keeps taking shrooms, that 15 minutes of fame could end up feeling like 15 years.
(It’s worth noting The Western Journal has documented that this is what you’ll see a lot more of if the country keeps on pursuing drug decriminalization. That opinion may be unpopular, but we like following the science — unlike defenders of willy-nilly legalization. You can help us bring America the facts by subscribing.)
Purley’s antics first came to wide attention via the interview with Latino Rebels, published earlier this month. He was described by writer Pablo Manriquez as “a legislative correspondent” that “Capitol Hill is abuzz with whispers about.” (Get it, “abuzz?” Because he was smoking up? And you thought pot double entendres died back in the Cheech and Chong days.)
The Latino Rebels piece is overtly hagiographical (provided your idea of sainthood involves Hunter Thompson and/or Huey P. Newton) and takes the traditional journalistic inverted-pyramid format — in which the most newsworthy information is stated first and minor details come toward the end — and stands it on its head.
Thus, we start off with Purley’s youth in Pine Bluff (“Mine’s a predominantly black city, overtly impoverished, but proud as hell”) and moves on to detail his educational background in detail no prospective employer short of the FBI would care about. (Well, maybe they might care about this nugget regarding what he learned at Stanford: “Like, I had never heard of apartheid in South Africa before. I was like how the f*** did no one ever teach me about apartheid in South Africa before?”)
Then it was on to Stanford, the United Kingdom’s Oxford University and Harvard — the kind of educational opportunities most Americans don’t even dream about. (Purley told Latino Rebels that he was denied admission to the Oxford library because he didn’t look like a student — an incident that prompted a letter from Stanford’s provost “admonishing Oxford’s racist culture,” according to Latino Rebels.)
In the 17th (!!) paragraph, we finally get to his tenure in Feinstein’s office, “where he says right away he realized he would have to be accommodating to a white workplace if he wanted to survive as a Hill staffer.”
“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,” Purley said. “She called me his name. We look nothing alike. We are two different shades. He wears a beard.”
“I didn’t correct it,” he continued. “I laughed it off because I didn’t even process it until later … that after all I’ve done to get here, you’re gonna call me another guy’s name? But I was like, OK, we’re gonna work within the system to try and figure this s*** out. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t consider me black. They consider me Jamarcus: that n****a that went to all them schools.”
Sure. Then, over the next five years in Feinstein’s office — one of the most liberal members of the upper chamber of Congress, it’s worth noting — Purley said white coworkers “touched my hair without my permission” and passed him over for promotion because of the quality of his writing. Or so they claimed!
“I had gone to the chief of staff twice because I told them that the way they write alienates black people,” Purley said. “I mean, I studied English and African-American studies — I know what the f*** I’m talking about. They said it’s not my role to tell us what or how to write. It’s my role to reflect the senator’s voice. They kept telling me I work at the pleasure of the senator.”
And we’re to believe this gentleman was somehow prevented from advancement for his race. But, according to Purley, there was heavy minority turnover in Feinstein’s office. Purley lost his father to COVID in December of 2020, Latino Rebels reported, and Purley told the outlet that “[o]ther black and brown families were losing their loved ones as well and Feinstein didn’t give a f***.”
After his own case of COVID over Christmas, according to Latino Rebels, Purley said he went off on a Jan. 24 staff call over pandemic resources for minority communities, during which Purley claimed to have said that Feinstein “cares more about Kirby, her f***in’ dog, than black people.”
Purley was fired on Feb. 8 for performance issues, quelle surprise. He put his termination letter up on Instagram and paid to promote it, but said Instagram shut the promotion down after just 7,000 users were reached. And then, on Feb. 26, he put this video on YouTube:
Someone was living their best life then. To quickly recap the sequence of events as Purley told it, “I ate some shrooms thinking they had won. While I was on the shrooms I came to the realization of what I had to do.”
What Purley “had to do” involved putting on a suit, going back to Capitol Hill with a blunt in his pocket, making it past security, walking into Feinstein’s office and blasting DeBarge whilst smoking up.
“I’m on shrooms in an office where white people touch my hair and do racist s***. I put on my mom’s favorite song because I knew it would calm me down and make me comfortable. The euphoria-slash-panic keeps kicking in that I’m not supposed to be there,” Purley said.
“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*** it. I just gotta do something for 10 minutes and I can finally leave.”
And that’s what he chose to do.
“That was the best night of my motherf***ing life,” Purley told Latino Rebels.
Maybe he should have chosen to attend his Stanford and/or Harvard commencements under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms while smoking a joint and blasting “I Like It” from a portable speaker, because that seems like it would be a better experience in my book. I dunno.
Purley’s 15 minutes of fame continued when he appeared on MSNBC on March 4 to allege, yet again, that — j’accuse! — white people had touched his hair:
Look, I agree you shouldn’t be touching anyone else’s hair without permission (are you listening, Mr. President?) and that there are potentially racial overtones when it’s a white person touching a black person’s hair. That being said, I think it’s important to note something here, even if everything Purley alleged in all of his interviews was accurate.
Things from this story that can’t/won’t/shouldn’t get you arrested:
- Touching people’s hair.
- Confusing the names of black people at the office.
- Caring for your dog, even if you care for it more than black people.
- Racial microaggressions at institutes of higher education.
- Not teaching someone about apartheid in South Africa.
- Having different legislative priorities than Jamarcus Purley.
Things from this story that can/will/should get you arrested:
- Getting high on shrooms, going back to Capitol Hill after a senator has fired you, entering your former boss’ office and blasting your mom’s favorite song from a portable speaker while you smoke a blunt.
I hope that clears things up.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.