Politics

Obama Staff Picture Goes Viral As One Thing Stands Out (Photo)

| by Denise Recalde

Pete Souza, the official White House photographer for former President Barack Obama, made a diversity statement with a picture from the Obama years that he posted on Instagram on Feb. 6. 

The picture focuses on the bottom half of four people: Obama is the only man wearing men's shoes and a suit while the other three are wearing skirts and heels, The Huffington Post reports.

"Meeting with top advisors. This is a full-frame picture. I guess you’d say I was trying to make a point," the caption of the photo written by Souza reads. 

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The picture has been posted amid criticisms that President Donald Trump's cabinet members have fewer non-White and female cabinet members than any other in over 30 years, The New York Times reports. 

Trump has appointed just five women and non-Whites for 22 cabinet posts, reports News One. The five posts are among the lowest-ranking positions.

Ben Carson, picked to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the only African-American in Trump's cabinet. The four female appointees are Elaine Chao for Transportation Department, Betsy DeVos for the Education Department Linda McMahon for the Small Business Administration, and Nikki Haley, United Nations Ambassador.

According to The Washington Post, the president has not picked a Latino for a leadership position, either. Former President Ronald Reagan had picked Lauro Cavazos as education secretary in 1988, the first Latino Cabinet member. Since that appointment, presidents have chosen at least one Latino to head a cabinet position.

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The Trump administration has responded to the criticisms. White House press secretary Sean Spicer stated the following:  "I think if we look at the totality of his administration, the people that he’s talked to, the people that he’s met with, the people that he’s appointed, you see a president who is committed to uniting this country and bringing the best and the brightest together." 

The statement led many to believe that the administration had problems finding experienced minorities and women as Cabinet position choices. 

Trump's press secretary also commented that diversity is not "just about skin color or ethnic heritage" and added that the cabinet will have a "diversity in thinking, and diversity of ideology."

Former President Bill Clinton had promised to create a diverse cabinet that "looks like America," and former President George W. Bush's first-term cabinet was 45 percent female and non-White male. For Obama, 64 percent of the Cabinet was diverse. 

Sources: The Huffington Post, News One, The New York Times, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Pete Souza/The White House via The Washington Post

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