January 19, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC—Yesterday’s announcement of Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s nomination as secretary of agriculture confirmed that, for the first time in 30 years, a presidential cabinet will be without Latino representation. The conspicuous and outrageous absence of a single Hispanic within the Trump cabinet, top White House staff and the president’s inner circle, is just the latest signal of President-elect Trump’s continued lack of engagement, seeming lack of interest, and clear lack of respect for nearly 60 million of his constituents and the nation’s largest minority group.
“This is not about political correctness; it is about representative democracy. The lack of Latino cabinet representation is an embarrassment on every level to the incoming administration. Any number of qualified, talented and capable Latino professionals could have been named to any cabinet post,” stated NCLR (National Council of La Raza) President and CEO Janet Murguía. “This is not just a symbolic error.”
“The president-elect has made evident since the beginning of his campaign that he lacks knowledge and awareness of the Latino community and has no real interest in establishing a relationship with a community upon whose labor and contributions America’s future greatness rests. So it is in both his interest and the country’s interest for the president to have an expert voice and the community’s perspective in his administration. To choose not to have that voice—combined with the least diverse cabinet in recent memory—exacerbates our longstanding concerns and speaks volumes about this administration’s troubling attitude on our diverse communities, who now make up more than half our country,” continued Murguía.
“We have continued to look for signs of common ground and hope that President-elect Trump is sincere about his pledge to be the president for all Americans, to no avail. We remain extremely disappointed. The president-elect’s cabinet, now complete, is a clear example why we must remain vigilant in our commitment to protect and defend our community and any others not represented in the White House,” concluded Murguía.
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to build a stronger America by creating opportunities for Latinos. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.