[OP-ED]: With his new Cabinet appointments, Trump keeps raising antagonism among Latinos
Those who voted for Donald Trump are anxious to interpret his victory as the defeat of the political correctness.
Fortunately for me, I don’t work for Trump or for any of those who where duped and voted for the political equivalent of P.T. Barnum.
Therefore, here is a politically correct criticism of Trump’s emergent government: his Cabinet seems like a Latino-free zone.
Commonly, in the last three presidential periods of the last 24 years – both Republicans and Democrats – there were at least two Latinos in the Cabinet at any determined point. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had three Latinos each in their Cabinets. Barack Obama outperformed both appointing four. In each case, that happened throughout both terms.
Only 12 Latinos belong to that exclusive club having served in a President’s Cabinet. They’re usually chosen for Energy, Labor, Housing or Urban Development. Only Alberto Gonzales filled one of the four main seats – Procurator, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Treasure and Secretary of State.
With any luck, we’ll find a Latino in Trump’s Cabinet.
Let’s go back to 1988 in the United States. Back then; Ronald Reagan named Lauro Cavazos, a democrat, as the first Latino to work in a Cabinet.
Trump, on the other hand, could end up with an Asian-American (Elaine Chao in Transport), an African-American (Ben Carson, in Housing) and maybe a Latino (in Interior Affairs, Agriculture, Energy, Labor or Veterans Affairs).
This will leave 12 white men, nearly all men! Great. White men never take a break. And, considering this is the year of the angry white American, the least we can do is to cheer 10 white men, giving them a job.
This doesn’t look good, since Trump raised Latino antagonism during almost a year and a half while in Campaign. So, are we qualified to be the object of his criticism but not to join his Cabinet?
I know what you’re thinking – race or ethnicity shouldn’t matter, Trump is only choosing the “best” or the most “qualified”.
Good news. In 2016, you can have both. Sometimes the best person for a job is someone from a different race or ethnicity. There’s no need to sacrifice quality over diversity.
We’re not talking about fees or positive action. Nor are we suggesting that the people are better served by a government when they see individuals that look alike on top.
Obama killed that theory. The first black President of The United States did little in eight years to assist the African-American community plagued with inadequate schools, urban violence and unemployment among young people. He assisted great corporations gaining bailouts and unions displacing immigrants. But he forgot about the community that supported him the most.
When it comes to recruit qualified people, Trump thinks of himself as the master. But when it comes to hire Latinos he’s still an apprentice.
Trump must consider this as a great opportunity to retaliate to his critics and to avoid confirming the caricature of the media that shows him as an individual who’d be totally comfortable in an all-white country club.
Besides, numbers matter. The President-elected himself told us so. Trump is proud of receiving almost 3 in every 10 Latino vote. He boasts about it all the time. And, as you might remember during his campaign, he stated: “Latinos adore me”.
Now, Hispanics have the right to evaluate the appointments to Trump’s Cabinet and ask for some adoration back.
And if in fact we end up with a Latino in his Cabinet, it means that the greatest minority in the United States still represents only a 6% of the heads of department. For someone who obtained 29% of the Latino Vote, that’s shameful.
Trump gained reputation in the construction business after finding talented people that others had dismissed. We have to recognize that he placed women in charge of important projects at a time when this sort of circumstances where almost unheard of.
So, what’s happening now? We supposedly have one of the greatest talent discoverers in the world that’s searching throughout the country, and all he finds to lead the departments of state are, mostly, white men? Worse still, does he seem like having a hard time finding qualified Latinos to lead anything? Seriously Mr. Wizard?