In 2012, non-Hispanic whites accounted for 89% of Republican self-identifiers nationwide, according to a Gallup poll. Just 2% of Republicans are black. “The Senate’s Only Black Republican Talks Racism on Senate Floor” was the title of an actual article on NBC News this past July. There are not a lot of black Republicans in general, but on Capitol Hill they are very nearly a myth.
We all know that. We know that there are a lot of reasons that people of color have avoided the GOP for a very long time. Remember the reactions to Donald Trump‘s black outreach earlier this year? His “What the hell do you have to lose?” appeal wasn’t really applauded as being enticing.
Still, when Vice President-elect Mike Pence posted a photo with the congressional GOP in D.C. today…
— CathyMcMorrisRodgers (@cathymcmorris) November 17, 2016
…people were still shocked to see the overwhelming whiteness staring them in the face.
— Tyler Samples (@tsampys25) November 17, 2016
— Abby Reger (@AbbyLaneReger) November 17, 2016
— pattir (@patring30) November 17, 2016
— Ciarán Clarke (@Narcassa) November 17, 2016
@cathymcmorris good thing nothing says ‘no more status quo’ in politics like a group of older white men.
— Anna Applebaum (@annaapplebaum) November 17, 2016
Race had nothing to do with the election, as this photo makes clear. pic.twitter.com/O6e9UE4e6a
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 17, 2016
— TimbO’Tree (@joshuetree) November 17, 2016
— Jhoccordyan???? (@cumba__j) November 17, 2016
@morninggloria the national association of old white people pretending to experience joy
— BEWARE: Ed Zitron (@edzitron) November 17, 2016
PAUL RYAN DOESN’T ALWAYS TAKE SELFIES
BUT WHEN HE DOES, HE PREFERS A LARGE ROOM OF WHITE PEOPLE pic.twitter.com/GLMBBotlAW
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) November 17, 2016
The criticisms are reminiscent of the ones leveled at Paul Ryan when he took a similar selfie with his interns in D.C. They’re also similar to what the Huffington Post faced when they tried to show off how many (white) women they had in high positions.
The question here is not “Will they ever learn?” It is not “Why don’t people of color want to be associated with the GOP?” It is really just “Why do Pence & Co. want to show this off?”
Answer that question at your own risk.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.