Politics

What This Meme Gets Wrong About Discrimination

President-elect Donald Trump is picking his future cabinet members, and rumors are swirling about his choices. Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, businessman Peter Thiel and former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson are all rumored to be in consideration.  

One meme uses the three potential advisors to paint Trump as an inclusive candidate, but it reveals a misconception about discrimination. 

Meme about Trump's potential cabinet picks.

One Twitter user compared the question on the meme to a person who uses "I have a black friend," as an excuse to defend themselves against racism.  

Here's a little more about these advisors who have received quite a bit of criticism from the communities the meme claimed they represent: 

Ben Carson 

Carson was one of Trump's former opponents in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and he ultimately offered his support to Trump after he became the party's nominee. Carson told The Washington Post on Tuesday that he's only interested in being an "informal advisor" for Trump.

 “The way I’m leaning is to work from the outside and not from the inside,” Carson told the Post in regards to declining a position offer from Trump.  “I want to have the freedom to work on many issues and not be pigeonholed into one particular area.”

In the interview, the Post called Carson, "Trump's most high-profile African-American supporter." 

The viral meme argues that Carson gives Trump credibility on racial issues but Twitter users have argued otherwise. 

Peter Thiel

Thiel told The New York Times Wednesday that he will act as an informal technology advisor for Trump. He became the first person to publicly speak about being gay in the history of the Republican National Convention in July. 

At the RNC, Thiel said that the debate about controversial bathroom laws are a "distraction." He called the debate over North Carolina's bathroom law, which mandates transgender people to use the gendered bathroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate, a "fake culture war."

“When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union, and we won," said Thiel at the convention. "Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares? Of course, every American has a unique identity.”

Trump had promised to protect LGBT Americans in the past, but the Republican platform and Vice President-elect Mike Pence seem to be more conservative. The platform had language that defined marriage between a man and a woman, and Pence has a history of legislation that advocates say discriminates against LGBT people. 

ATTN:'s Kyle Fitzpatrick wrote that these potential influences have LGBT Americans concerned about their rights under Trump's administration. 

"It’s not difficult to see how this point of view could ooze into the White House, eventually changing everyday life for queer Americans," Fitzpatrick wrote. 

Kellyanne Conway

Conway is the first woman to run a successful Republican presidential campaign. The Washington Post reported that Conway told a group of House Republicans to stop talking about rape publicly, and in 2011 she told women at the Conservative Women's Network to embrace femininity not feminism.

Conway is anti-abortion rights, and praised Trump's factually inaccurate claim in the final presidential debate that doctors in the U.S. perform abortions on women who are nine months pregnant.

However, Conway's campaign messaging may have worked with women. Despite a leaked recording of Trump talking inappropriately about women's bodies, Trump performed well with white women voters. Trump captured the votes of 45 percent of white college educated women and 62 percent of white women without a college degree, according to CNN exit polls

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