President Donald Trump made waves during a White House intern photo op during which time he told a female reporter to “Be quiet.” But now, photos of those very same interns have circulated and become a story of their own due to the blatant message the photo sends: the White House’s interns are overwhelmingly white and male.
The White House website does not offer statistics specifically on the demographics of its interns. But one look at a photo sends the message loud and clear.
Nearly half of millennials are people of color. Trump’s White House interns: pic.twitter.com/WLXNCA5TVj
Reasonable People (@LOLBeReasonable) July 24, 2017
Females make up just over half of the population, according to the United States Census Bureau, but are not even equally represented among Trump’s White House interns. Also according to the Census Bureau, 44.2 percent of millennials are ethnically diverse. The interns appear to be almost entirely white.
As reported by The Washington Post, “Republican voters are largely white and older, and the White House can only choose interns based on the applicant pool. Nevertheless, the photo serves as evidence that the next wave of Republican leaders are not representative of America’s changing demographics. Without a change of course, future leaders of the GOP won’t reflect the experiences of the majority of people they seek to govern.”
At least one person on Twitter reported the interns’ demographics as:
Trump’s White House interns did their team photo today. A quick analysis:
Total interns: 115
Black men: 2
Black women: 0 pic.twitter.com/TZH99hoYgP
Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) July 25, 2017
DiversityInc could not independently confirm these statistics.
In contrast, a photo of former President Barack Obama’s interns appears to show much more diversity in terms of race as well as gender.
WHITE HOUSE ARCHIVES
Jaylin D. McClinton (@JayDMcClinton) July 24, 2017
According to Pew Research Center, 54 percent of registered voters who are white are Republicans or lean toward the Republican Party. Seven percent of Black, 27 percent of Hispanic and 27 percent of Asian registered voters are Republicans or lean Republican.
Regarding gender diversity, 51 percent of male and 38 percent of female registered voters identify with or lean toward the Republican Party.
Even using Pew’s standards, the photo of the interns appears to over represent white male Americans registered with or leaning toward the Republican Party. The trend among the interns indicates that Republican leadership will remain overwhelmingly white and male.
Diversity in politics is by no means just a Republican issue, but Republicans are behind when compared to Democrats. According to the Rutgers-based Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), women comprise just 19.5 percent of Congress, accounting for 105 seats in both the House of Representatives and Senate. Roughly three-quarters of the women in Congress are Democrats.
Trump’s cabinet also displays a lack of diversity. In April the Center for American Progress tweeted that Trump’s cabinet is “more white and male than any” since former President Ronald Reagan was in office.
57. Trump’s Cabinet is more white and more male than any first Cabinet since President Ronald Reagan’s https://t.co/0ridDiuOB5
American Progress (@amprog) April 25, 2017
The New York Times echoed this claim in an article last updated in May.
According to Politifact, this claim is “mostly” truthful:
“The only other president who challenges Trump’s standing is George H.W. Bush, whose first cabinet was 71 percent white male. But Bush had fewer cabinet members, according to the New York Times’ article. So, the percentage of nonwhite and women cabinet members combined in his cabinet is higher than Trump’s cabinet.
But looking at each demographic individually white and male changes the picture.
Trump’s cabinet has a [higher] percentage of white males out of any first cabinet since Reagan, but he does not have the highest percentage of males.
That distinction belongs to George H.W. Bush whose cabinet was 89 percent male. Females makes up a little more than 16 percent of Trump’s cabinet, but only made up 11 percent of George H.W. Bush’s.
You have to go back to Reagan to find a more white and more male cabinet. White males comprised 90 percent of his first cabinet. (It’s worth noting Reagan had 17 white males to Trump’s 18. Reagan’s cabinet is considered less diverse, though, because he had even less people in his cabinet.)”
Ryan’s selfie with Capitol Hill interns goes viral, but not for the reason he was hoping.
The White House intern photo may have stirred up feelings of dj vu, as it echoes House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) selfie with more than 100 Capitol Hill interns, which also shows a shocking lack of diversity.
Just days after Ryan posted his selfie, a photo circulated of Democratic House and Congressional Black Caucus interns. This photo appeared to show significantly more racial diversity.