Trump delays Biden on people of color in campaign front row

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WASHINGTON – In the midst of a summer of racial unrest and calling for more diversity in leadership, President Donald Trump accuses Democratic rival Joe Biden of the percentage of people of color in his campaign staff, according to data provided by the campaigns at the Associated Press. Twenty-five percent of the Republican president’s senior executives are not white, compared to 36% of Biden’s senior executives. Biden’s global campaign team is 35% non-white; Trump’s campaign did not provide a comparable figure.

And neither campaign has provided a racial breakdown for their non-white staff, nor the total number of staff who are on their payroll, including senior managers.

Advocates of minority groups argue that diversity of staff is necessary to ensure that political candidates hear a full range of voices and views to help them understand the concerns of diverse communities and interest groups – particularly at a when racial injustice is at the heart of national conversation. And while Biden has an advantage over Trump, there is much more to be done in presidential campaigns overall.

Jennifer Lawless, a professor of Commonwealth Politics at the University of Virginia, said “there are still many milestones that have not been reached” by political campaigns, such as a black man or woman leader – and winning – a presidential campaign. And she said having diverse staff at lower levels in the countryside can help increase the pool of future managers, finance presidents and others.

“It’s all part of the pipeline,” said Lawless.

Trump’s campaign makeup got a double take in June when Vice President Mike Pence tweeted – and then deleted – a photo of his visit to campaign headquarters. The photo first drew attention to the lack of social distancing and the use of face masks among staff. But it was also remarkable for the sea of ​​mainly white faces.

Eric Rodriguez, senior vice president of policy and advocacy at UnidosUS, said the Biden team had more Latinos in positions of responsibility than Trump.

“You need people from these communities to be able to make those connections,” said Rodriguez, whose organization was previously called the National Council of La Raza.

Rival campaigns have been more successful – and about equal – in women’s employment, with women holding more than half of all jobs overall and more than half of all managerial positions.

The President’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who is white, former White House collaborator Mercedes Schlapp, who is Cuban-American, and Katrina Pierson, who is black and worked on the Trump campaign in 2016, are among the most prominent women managers. work to help him re-elect him.

Others include former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, now a campaign fundraiser and the girlfriend of Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and Hannah Castillo, director of campaign coalitions. Guilfoyle’s late mother was from Puerto Rico. Castillo is Mexican American.

Biden’s senior advisor, Symone Sanders, who is black, is the tallest person in color in the countryside and, at 30, is the youngest member of her entourage. The candidate also recently recruited several African-Americans who worked for President Barack Obama, including Karine Jean-Pierre, formerly a political analyst at NBC News and MSNBC.

Biden spokesman Jamal Brown said the former vice president’s campaign reflects “the diversity, breadth and promise of America.”

“He thinks our democracy is stronger when people see themselves reflected in their government,” added Brown, who is black.

The May murder of George Floyd, who was black, by a white Minneapolis police officer sparked nationwide protests against racial injustice and called for greater representation of minorities in society which brought further scrutiny at presidential campaigns.

Biden had been confronted earlier in the campaign with the lack of diversity of its staff. In addition to adding more people of color to his campaign, Biden has promised an administration that “looks like America” ​​if elected on November 3.

The US population is made up of about 60% white, 19% Latino and 13% black, according to Census Bureau estimates.

Trump has not made a similar promise regarding a potential second term. His campaign refused to discuss the representation of minorities among campaign staff.

Four women are currently serving in Trump’s cabinet: CIA director Gina Haspel and education secretary Betsy DeVos, both white; Jovita Carranza, a Latina who heads the Small Business Administration; and transport secretary Elaine Chao, born in Taiwan.

Housing Secretary Ben Carson is the only black member of the Cabinet.

Rodriguez summed up the Biden campaign strategy by focusing on gaining the support of a diverse group of voters, particularly in the battlefield states where large numbers of Latino and black voters live. He characterized Trump’s strategy as “really a basic question” and trying to replicate his 2016 campaign success book, which used immigration as a corner problem.

“The strategy is to run over racial division,” said Rodriguez of the president, who began to use racial tensions that surfaced after the murder of Floyd in his reelection speech.

Yet Trump and his campaign regularly appeal to black and Latino voters.

President regularly cites job gains for these groups before coronavirus pandemic strikes, and continues to introduce legislation he signed to revise criminal conviction procedures and provide permanent funding for colleges and universities historically black.

This week, Trump was surrounded by Latin American leaders as he announced a new advisory commission to help Hispanics with economic and educational opportunities.

But the event also highlighted how far Trump has to go to win the support of people of color. Critics of Trump’s Hispanic record called for a boycott of the food company Goya after its president congratulated Trump on the event.

The president, however, has strong support among some people of Cuban and Venezuelan descent, due to his firm position against the authoritarian leaders of these countries.

The Biden campaign said that LGBTQ and color staff occupy positions such as senior advisers, assistant campaign managers, director of national coalitions, finance director, operations manager and national press secretary, among others.

Trump’s campaign has defined senior executives as “senior leaders who meet regularly to make decisions. People with authority ”, and did not specify.

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