While it’s certainly not true that Donald Trump will have the least diverse cabinet in history. Hell, before a generation or so ago, it was rare to see women or People of Color in positions of authority, but it’s 2016. The culture is changing and skin color and gender (and religion and sexual orientation) shouldn’t matter at all.
Judging by the looks of his cabinet nominees so far, Trump’s administration will be the least diverse since Bush…George H.W. Bush.
Trump, or more likely, someone working for Trump, knows that he needs to offer at least some diversity, especially with the enemies he’s made in the Latino community with his “wall” rhetoric in the campaign. The problem is, though, he can’t find any in a country with about 57 million Latinos and Hispanics.
“I can tell you now I have spoken to numerous folks on the transition, and they say that he’s absolutely looking for qualified Latinos for a Cabinet post,” said Mario Rodriguez, head of the Latino PAC Hispanic 100. Rodriguez, who sits on Trump’s Hispanic advisory committee, said transition officials have asked him for recommendations and they gave him positive feedback about Trump’s prior meetings with Hispanic candidates.
“I think some appointments are going to be pretty quick. President-elect Trump was very impressed by the candidates. He wants to put a Latino in the Cabinet, he’s not doing it just for show.”
Trump is trying to fill the position of Agriculture Secretary with a Latino and he’s receiving a lot of backlash from his farmer supporters. According to Politico, the farmers don’t want it to be a political pick. Of course, they are Trump supporters, so there’s a better than even chance they don’t like the idea of someone with brown skin determining farm policy, especially after Trump said he wants to deport Latinos.
Part of the problem is that Trump is looking for a qualified Latino to take the position. There’s no doubt there are plenty, but few who likely share his political beliefs. Still, it’s weird that he should look for qualified now. His current picks are some of the least qualified to ever serve office (remember, Rick Perry, who has just a Bachelor’s Degree and nearly flunked a class called “meats,” is slated to be Energy Secretary and Ben Carson, who is a doctor, a medical doctor, will serve as Director of Housing and Urban Development) just as he is among the least qualified who will ever serve in the Office of the Presidency.
Even if Trump is able to hire a Latino — even a qualified one, it might not matter.
Many Hispanic leaders say they are less concerned about having a Cabinet pick than what Trump’s policies could mean, particularly with deportation and a wall along the Mexican border. These people say picking a Hispanic Cabinet member for agriculture could be seen as a token with little real value and liken Trump naming his only black Cabinet member to lead Housing and Urban Development.
In other words, Trump could have the most diverse cabinet ever and still be the worst president for diversity in history. What Latino (or really anyone) in their right mind would want history to remember them in that way?
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images.