“The best people.” This refrain rang throughout Donald Trump’s presidential campaign; at times, it seemed to be his justification for being in the race at all. He wasn’t a politician — he was a businessman. He had never run a government, but he ran a company, and running a company is, at bottom, easy: You get the best people. The pitch worked, and Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America. In the meantime, he has been stocking his cabinet with what he promises are the best people.
Even without thinking too hard about what “best” means — best for whom? to do what? — it’s still instructive to see who made the cut. The two people who will be perched on Trump’s shoulders, his chief of staff Reince Priebus and his chief strategist Steve Bannon, are white men. The top layer of his cabinet — the attorney general, as well as the secretaries of state, Treasury and defense — is made up of white men. In fact, if you print out a chart with the faces of Trump’s picks on it, the first thing you’re likely to notice about it is that his cabinet consists almost entirely of white men. And the second thing you’re likely to notice is Dr. Ben Carson.