It shouldn’t come as a shock that the intern staff working in the White House is practically all White. The racial composition of the class is a repeat of last year, and 2019 will probably be the same.
Many people are criticizing the Trump administration for selecting a spring intern class of 91 participants that includes just a handful of non-Whites. That was expected from an administration that does not value diversity. Still, when the White House released the class photograph on Friday, scores of people took to social media to vent.
“The White House intern photo is like a Where’s Waldo for a non-white person—in a country that is about 40% non-white,” tweeted political scientist and Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas.
Although it’s obvious to just about everyone, the White House denies publicly that it has a diversity problem. Back in December, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was dishonest when she said the administration has “a really diverse team across the board,” when asked how many senior Black staffers work for the White House.
More recently, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke came under fire when three senior Interior Department officials alleged that he said several times “diversity isn’t important,” or “I don’t care about diversity,” or “I don’t really think that’s important anymore.”
White House staff became notably whiter after the departure of Omarosa Manigualt Newman in December. She was “the only African-American woman who sits at the table,” Newman highlighted to NBC News. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is the only Black voice in Trump’s cabinet. The African-American Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who holds a senior level position in the administration, is also a visible presence.