For anyone worried that President-elect Donald Trump wouldn’t appoint at least one Latinx to his Cabinet… well, you were right. On Wednesday, President-elect Trump nominated Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture, the final open position, effectively closing the door on allowing any Latinos into his Cabinet. According to the Los Angeles Times, this marks the first time since September of 1988, Ronald Reagan’s second term in office, that a President or President-elect has not appointed at least one Latinx to a Cabinet position.
During Thursday’s press conference, Sean Spicer, the incoming Press Secretary, reassured the American public that Trump’s team is appointing only the “best and brightest.”
CREDIT: PBS NEWS HOUR / Youtube
Sean Spicer pointed out that there at least a few minority appointments, like neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who was nominated for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Spicer also noted that while there were no Latinos in the cabinet, there are “5,000 positions” that are ready to be filled by people that represent ethnic and ideological diversity. Spicer, attempting to alleviate fears from the Latinx community about lack of representation, was essentially saying that while the top jobs are off the table, there are plenty more left to choose from.
The lack of Latinos, however, has provoked mixed reactions from prominent figures in the Latinx community.
According to the Washington Post, Alfonso Aguilar, the leader of a conservative Latino advocacy group, noted that President Obama “had three or four Latinos at the cabinet level, but that didn’t help the welfare of Latinos in any way.” Others feel the opposite. The Washington Post also quoted Chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda Hector Sanchez, who said, “Twenty percent of the population cannot be ignored and cannot be constantly attacked. This will be reflected in two years [in congressional elections] and in the next presidential election.”