White males dominate the Trump White House cabinet posts. Of Trump’s 18 choices to date — excluding his vice president and senior Trump White House staff — 14 are white, of which 12 are male. None are Latino. By comparison, 11 of the the corresponding positions in Obama’s first Cabinet were white — with seven men and four women — along with Latino labor and interior secretaries and three African-Americans, two of whom were women. Trump’s lone African-American choice, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, will run the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which primarily deals with city planning. Of his four female appointees, the highest profile is billionaire Republican donor and “school choice” activist Betsy DeVos. Fast-food titan Andy Puzder will run the Labor Department and billionaire businessman Wilbur Ross is the choice for commerce secretary.
Trump has selected three women of color to top positions. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is Indian-American, is the pick for US Ambassador to the United Nations. The Taiwan-born former Bush administration labor secretary, Elaine Chao, the first Asian-American woman to serve in a presidential Cabinet, has been tapped by Trump to head the Transportation Department. And Seema Verma, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has been selected to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — what should be a key role in the Obamacare repeal fight.
Top national security posts in the Trump administration will also be held exclusively by white men. In addition to Mattis, another retired Marine general, John Kelly, is slated to take over the Department of Homeland Security, while Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo has been nominated as the next CIA director. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a top Trump aide and senior staffer, will round out Trump’s senior security staff.
Former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, another GOP billionaire donor, will take over as administrator of the Small Business Administration pending confirmation.
Donald Trump’s diversity hustle: His “best black friend” and a few women can’t conceal his true agenda. This is a cynical and dishonest embrace of “diversity” that manipulates the optics of skin color and gender to advance a right-wing agenda that does not serve, advance or protect the civil rights or life opportunities of women or people of color. The Trump White House is primarily white.
It is also an example of the system and practice known as “racial capitalism” that Nancy Leong described in the Harvard Law Review, by which “white individuals and predominantly white institutions use nonwhite people to acquire social and economic value.”
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