White House criticised for lack of diversity after releasing photo of spring 2018 interns

'It's like a Where's Waldo for a non-white person in a country that is 40 per cent non-white' 

Eugene Scott
Monday 02 April 2018 15:02
White House Interns, 2018
White House Interns, 2018

The White House released a photo of its spring 2018 interns and people quickly noted a lack of people of colour.

One reaction on Twitter noted: "Last summer and this spring, the White House had a combined 206 interns. Among them: 3 black men. 0 black women. Out of 206."

Another person tweeted: "The White House intern photo is like a Where's Wally for a non-white person-in a country that is about 40 per cent non-white."

On the other hand, it is possible that people of colour weren't eager to sign up to work in President Donald Trump's White House. Some of the president's lowest approval marks come from people of color and millennials, according to Gallup.

The absence of diversity in the White House and administration as a whole has attracted attention since the earliest days of the Trump presidency.

When Omarosa Manigault Newman left in December from her post as the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, it was again a reminder of the absence of African-Americans in senior positions in Trump's White House.

She was the only black senior adviser.

"As the only African-American woman in this White House, as a senior staff and assistant to the president, I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people," she told Good Morning America after her departure.

While there are notable people of colour in the Trump administration - Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley - Mr Trump's Cabinet is predominantly white.

But the intern photo - and the photos of previous intern groups of the Trump White House - provided a window into understanding why there could be such low representation of people of color at top levels of the Trump administration: Diversity has to start at the bottom.

The Washington Post

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