Watching the GOP convention this week was painful on a large number of levels, one of them being the struggle to show minorities in both the speakers and the audience. Out of 2,472 delegates, only 18 are black–less than one percent. That’s down from the peak of seven percent in 2004. Only 20 percent of the 71 prime-time speakers are white. This is the party of Donald Trump.
The look of whiteness at the RNC is patterned in this photograph of GOP congressional interns, proudly taken by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Below is the photograph of Democratic congressional interns, thanks to Audra Jackson, an intern working for Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). What an amazing difference!
According to Valcy Etienne, Johnson said that Jackson’s selfie was an “excellent idea” because the interns “represent the future of our party and where we’re going.” She added:
“I wonder if the Republicans are looking at diversity or have any type of priority for it. It’s not hard. If you have the attitude of diversification, believe me it shows and people will get it right away. I believe if there is some interest in making sure that you reflect the American population, the attitudes are well known.”
She also explained the importance of diversity:
“First of all, we represent the nation. Our nation is very diverse and becoming more diverse every day. And I think to have a non-diverse representation is a disservice to the American people.”
Although people of color comprise over 28 percent of eligible voters, they represent only seven percent of top Senate staffers. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies also reported, “Senate offices representing states with large Hispanic and African-American populations hire few senior staffers of color.”
These images mirror the composition of Congress. Although the current Congress is considered the most diverse in history, but most of the diversity is on the Democratic side. The House has 78 white men out of 188 representatives, making them the minority of that chamber’s Democratic caucus. Of the 246 Republicans in the House, only 12 are minorities. That’s under five percent. By gender, the House Dems have 65 women (about one-third); the GOP has only 23 for a percentage of under ten percent.
As everyone knows, the GOP is dominated by white men.