Last Friday, the Trump administration released a photo of the president posing with the latest crop of White House interns. Right away, the internet noticed a glaring detail: almost everyone in the photo was white. But someone also created a flawless Get Out meme of the White House interns that demonstrates how scary the lack of diversity really is.
One user photoshopped the main character from Jordan Peele's Get Out, Chris, into the image. The film is about a black man who visits his white girlfriend's liberal family in upstate New York — and things don't exactly go well. While the characters go out of their way to claim they're not racist, they eventually let their real feelings show. Chances are Chris would be just as uncomfortable in that room full of White House interns as he was at the Armitage's house.
Many people weren't shocked to see that a majority of the White House spring interns were white. Despite White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying the administration has a "really diverse team," the majority of it is white men.
Trump's current cabinet includes only one African-American person, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson; one Asian-American person, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao; and one Hispanic person, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. There are just five women in the group. For comparison, 64 percent of Barack Obama's initial cabinet were not white men (either men of color or women), according to the New York Times, and 45 percent of George W. Bush's first cabinet were as well.
So, while Trump might say he's the "least racist person," people are noticing that that doesn't necessarily mean he's giving people of color the same opportunities.
Trump has been criticized for remarks he's made in the past that many interpreted as racist. For instance, he referred to mostly black nations like Haiti and nations in Africa as "shithole countries." And following the violent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last summer, Trump said there was "blame on both sides," putting the white supremacists and the counter-protestors on the same moral plane.
Furthermore, Trump has a long history of racism. He and his father, Fred, were sued in 1973 for systematically discriminating against black people in housing rentals. They ended up settling with the Justice Department. In the late '80s, Trump was aggressive in accusing the "Central Park 5," four black teenagers and one Latino teenager, of brutally raping and beating a female jogger. He took out a full-page ad calling for them to be executed. Even after DNA evidence exonerated them in 2014, Trump still maintained their guilt years later.
Despite Trump's long history of racism, the president repeatedly maintains that he's the "least racist person" that anyone has ever met. He's said this line in multiple interviews with the press.
This dichotomy of acting in ways that are perceived as racist while being hyperbolic about how not racist he is, make the Trump-Get Out memes so on point. The family in the film is hell-bent on letting everyone know they're not prejudice (the girlfriend's dad assures Chris he "would've voted for Obama a third time" if he could), yet their actions and words prove otherwise.
Following Trump's "shithole countries" comments, CNN's Don Lemon (who Trump once told he was the "least racist person ever") began his segment that night by declaring, "The president of the United States is racist, but a lot of us already knew that." He went on to say that while the president's comments were "disgusting," they weren't shocking given his past. "They’re not even really surprising," Lemon said. "Because this is who Donald Trump is. This is what he thinks."