WASHINGTON – Under pressure to reveal the number of minorities on its staff, campaigns for former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump released diversity statistics on Saturday showing that less than half of their senior teams are made up of people from color.
In a summary of staff data obtained by NBC News, the Biden campaign revealed that 35 percent of full-time staff and 36 percent of top advisers are people of color. The campaign did not break down statistics based on race and ethnicity.
After the Biden campaign revealed their numbers, the Trump campaign followed, announcing that 25 percent of its senior staff are people of color but refuse to provide information for all full-time staff.
Both campaigns announced that the majority of their staff is made up of women.
The Trump campaign said women make up 56 percent of its senior staff and 52 percent of full-time staff. Similarly, the Biden campaign said 58 percent of its top advisers are women, including 53 percent of its full-time staff.
Nationwide protests after George Floyd’s death have highlighted uneven opportunities in the US, lobbying businesses, organizations and political campaigns to publish internally diverse data that would help them tackle inequalities within from their own ranks.
Biden was recently pressured to release campaign staff diversity data after criticism that the closest circle of advisers to the closest Democratic candidate was overwhelmingly white and male. Asked why his campaign did not reveal staff numbers during a live presidential broadcast of the American vote for the Asian and Pacific Islanders on Saturday, Biden immediately instructed his staff to release them.
He also reiterated his commitment to ensuring that his cabinet “would resemble the United States” if elected, “from the vice president to the cabinet members, to the main actors within the White House and the court will be a reflection of who we are as a nation “.
The Trump campaign has twice faced criticism this year about its diversity, most recently after Vice President Mike Pence posted a photo of himself with staff at the campaign headquarters in Virginia for not following code orders. health, including the use of a mask. However, some were quick to point out that many in the room were white.
Jennifer Lawless, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, noted the difference between the ethnic diversity of the Trump campaign and Biden in her senior staff.
“It may not seem like a big problem, but the disparity between a quarter and more than a third of people of color, especially in this environment, is very significant,” he said.
Inclusv, a diversity group that aims to increase the number of diversity in politics, announced that it would work to increase the number of minority staff in the Biden campaign. The campaign itself noted that it continues to hire and prioritize playing key roles with people of color.
“Fortunately, as the Biden campaign joins the states, they will continue to prioritize recruiting and hiring various applicants in hopes that by the end of the cycle, they can reach a benchmark of 45 percent,” said Alida. García, co-founder of Inclusv. she told NBC News.
She said that while the Trump campaign can call its diverse numbers, the president’s policies do not share the values of growing diversity.
“A president who is the candidate to separate families and dehumanize protesters who advocate defending the lives of blacks, then it doesn’t matter who makes up his team,” he said. “Your values for a diverse and inclusive America are very clear.”
During the live broadcast of the APIA Vote, Biden criticized Trump’s recent racist references to the coronavirus as “the Kung Flu” and the “Chinese Flu” and said that Trump “only knows how to talk about people’s fears, not his best angels” .
“Asian Americans are being targeted for xenophobic rhetoric from the president’s own mouth,” Biden said. “This is the president who, instead of uniting our country, does everything possible to fan the flames of hatred and division in this country.”
The Trump campaign’s deputy governor, Guam Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo, dodged criticism of Trump’s use of racist phrases, instead of pointing to the looting incidents that occurred at the same time as the protests of Black Lives Matter across the country and suggested that Biden was guilty.
Monica Alba contributed