The latest class of White House interns is a reminder that diversity in government isn’t an issue only at senior levels; it starts at the bottom.
The absence of diversity in the White House and administration as a whole has attracted attention since the earliest days of the Trump presidency.
When Omarosa Manigault Newman left in December from her post as the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, it was again a reminder of the absence of African Americans in senior positions in Trump’s White House. She was the only black senior adviser.
“As the only African American woman in this White House, as a senior staff and assistant to the president, I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people,” she told “Good Morning America” after her departure.
While there are notable people of color in the Trump administration — Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley — Trump's Cabinet is predominantly white.
But the intern photo — and the photos of previous intern groups of the Trump White House — provided a window into understanding why there could be such low representation of people of color at top levels of the Trump administration: Diversity has to start at the bottom.