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The White--It Blinds

Paul Ryan posted a selfie on Instagram:

He said it was the most Capitol Hill interns ever to appear in a selfie. Clearly he failed to notice the problem with the photo, and the fact that he failed to notice this problem shows quite a lot about Paul Ryan.

The sea of white faces from top to bottom and side to side is a problem.  (In the world's worst game of Where's Waldo, there's one African-American woman in the photo--can you find her?)

There are any number of ways Ryan could have gone with this. He could have said, "Look at these smiling faces. It's great to have these young people here. However, we need more diversity in our interns!  Can it be you?"  Or, "I love working with these fantastic young people.  We need more of you, especially young people of color, and Hispanic people, and Asian people. Help us make Capitol Hill reflect America!"  But no, instead he went for, "This is a record!"  I doubt it was deliberate.  He was looking for an interesting photo op, and he was blinded to the lack of diversity because he doesn't want to see it.  It's what I call "clueless racism," which is racism that isn't deliberate, but is racism nonetheless.

And then we had the RNC elevators problem:

Again, I doubt anyone intended this to be racist.  It was probably part of a wider color-coding system. Red elevators, green elevators, gold elevators, and so on.  But considering what's been happening with the Black Lives Matter movement lately, and considering that Jim Crow laws requiring "white" and "colored" facilities are well within living memory, and considering that the GOP has a reputation for racism, the choice to label a bank of elevators "white" was tone deaf and foolish.  There seems to be a lot of that in the GOP these days.


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