This visually striking story documents how the Trump administration is pretty much wall to wall white people. And that’s not exactly a coincidence:
For a president whose agenda has centered largely on undoing the legacy of his White House predecessor, Barack Obama, the procession of daily images has served to reinforce the notion that the era of the nation’s first black president is over.
“The backdrop to this visual representation of Trumpism is ‘Make America Great Again,’ a nostalgic longing for a period in which whiteness and white people didn’t feel threatened,” said Eddie Glaude Jr., chairman of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. “For eight years, we had young Americans from all walks of life looking to the seat of American power and seeing a black family and seeing diversity in all its fullness occupy the White House. In some ways, just as Trump’s policies have sought to erase Obama’s policy legacy, the images coming out of the White House aim to erase eight years of the visual black presidency.”
The images range from official events and bilateral meetings to informal social gatherings among the president’s staff. They are taken by news photographers, White House staff photographers and Trump aides, who post the shots on social media.
The aggressive whiteness of the administration is in one sense self-defeating, since Make America Great Again really means Make Whiteness An Unmarked Category Again, and hiring only white people in 2019 has the opposite effect in regard to that goal, at least for now.