MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MD., January 20, 2017 – President Donald J. Trump has named most of his appointees, and the lack of diversity appears to reflect some of the more controversial statements he made during the campaign. There are no Muslims or Latinos among his appointees.
Whether on purpose or because he saw this as an important issue with his base, Trump made several negative statements about Latinos and Muslims during the campaign. While his verbal attack on these groups was different, Latinos because of immigration and Muslims because of fear of terrorism, they were always very well received by those that participated in his rallies.
Reporters who asked Trump’s staff about the lack of Latinos among his appointments received statements ranging from, “You haven’t seen all the appointments” to “We picked the best person for the job”.
Since all major appointments have been made, it appears that there are no Latinos or Muslims in the select group. This is the first time since the 1970s that Latinos/as have been left out.
Statistically, it is impossible that not one Latino or Muslim could have been among “the best” candidates for at least one position. What is possible is that Trump and his selection committee could not find a candidate he could fully trust or who was comfortable with the campaign rhetoric of rabid nationalism.
Trump’s appointees also depart from those of previous administrations in other ways. There is a decrease in the number of women, an increase in the number of military men and white men, and a large increase in the number of billionaires. There is only one African American, one East Asian and one South Asian American.
The appointment of Dr. Carson as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is unusual and appears to be somewhat forced, leading to speculation that there was a scramble to find a place for an African-American appointee.
The absence of African Americans from the appointee list would have been unsightly. It is unclear why the team did not consider Dr. Carson for the Health and Human Services, a position that would have made sense since he is a prominent physician.
During the campaign, a Latino supporter of Trump, Marco Gutíerrez, was asked whether he resented all the negative rhetoric about Latinos originating from the candidate’s camp. He responded that it was a good thing; otherwise, we would see a taco truck on every corner in the US.
He probably will not get a good job from Trump’s administration and may have to go buy a taco truck.
It was telling to see the “Bikers for Trump” interviewed by the mainstream media. They boasted that they had come to respond/defend against anti-Trump protesters. It is like the campaign never stopped and they are reliving Trump’s pronouncements to use violence against protesters in his rallies.
Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, will never forget Trump’s insults to Latinos and is counting the days until he takes that final helicopter ride out of our fair capital. He is on Twitter (@chibcharus), Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook (Mario Salazar).