White House receives criticism over lack of diversity in intern program
The White House released a photo of this year’s intern selection, and as expected, you can count on one hand the number of students of color in the program, reports Newsweek.
Out of the 91 participants, the White House failed to enlist an equitable number of students of color to diversity it’s spring intern staff.
The image that was released Friday is telling: President Donald Trump is posing in the middle of a sea of white students – and you literally have to squint in order to figure out who the students of color are.
“Diversity this ain’t,” tweeted France 24 White House correspondent Philip Crowther.
Interns perform administrative jobs like drafting memos, research, staffing events and fielding inquiries, according to Newsweek.
“This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office, and prepare them for future public service opportunities,” the description of the program reads.
The U.S. Census Bureau, reports that three-fifths of America’s population is non-Hispanic white. So it’s interesting that the picture skews that truth with white interns making up a far higher proportion of the group.
Critics made note that Obama’s intern staff had an ethically diverse population that exceeds Trump’s intern pool.
Last year Vice President Mike Pence too heat for posting a picture of his mostly white summer interns.
White House So White
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s mostly white selfie pic with interns was widely criticized back in 2016 and sparked the hashtag #InternsSoWhite and #GOPsSoWhite. The Democrats clapped back by posting their very diversified intern pics.
Intern Audra Jackson, 22, a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, got together with her fellow interns Erik Daniels andOmar Al-Hendy to organize a group photo with interns in the Democratic Caucus.
“Initially everybody that we knew wanted to do a selfie as well,” Jackson explained. “We just needed to be organized. We had to rely on the staff in this office to help organize our efficiency. I think most interns had the same thought after seeing the picture.”
According to Twitter, #DemInternSelfie became a trending topic in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. Interns who participated reported posting the photo to their social media pages and receiving overwhelming support.
“Coming to the Hill, I thought it was going to be a lot less colorful,” said Al-Hendy. “But it’s been awesome to walk around and see the diversity in the various offices. Especially as a Muslim cohort… Coming here and seeing the diversity is a nice friendly reminder that it isn’t as black and white as it may seem.”
Jackson, the main organizer behind the photo, shared, “It’s awesome that all the interns got together and got to show their power and their diversity. It speaks volumes to all the people we just met about the resilience and about the importance of diversity to us and to the Democratic Caucus.”