People are *not* happy about Paul Ryan’s #SpeakerSelfie — here’s why

This week, Paul Ryan shared a photo of the Capitol Hill interns that left the internet quite, well, pissed off. Why? Because it was very, *very* white.

And, well, clearly not representative of the U.S.

The past Republican candidate for the vice presidency and current speaker of the House was excited about the selfie, captioning the photo, “I think this sets a record for the most number of #CapitolHill interns in a single selfie. #SpeakerSelfie.”

While this may be true, it definitely doesn’t break any norms in terms of the overwhelming whiteness of the photo.


Unintentional as it may be, his lack of concern that the photo could cause such a stir due to the apparent lack of racial diversity proved to many that, per usual, the people who represent people of color aren’t usually as well-versed in issues of diversity as they ought to be.

Because it isn’t just Ryan. It’s everyone who sees a room full of mostly white interns and doesn’t flinch. It’s everyone who doesn’t question what structures are in place that make rooms of power rooms of whiteness. It’s anyone who seeks to defend the photo, rather than see it for what it is: an illustration of how far we still have to go.

Luckily, many have spoken out, using humor to make their point totally clear. false false false

While this upset may seem silly to some, it’s *hugely* important to recognize that those who have a voice at the table always, always matters. When you’re at the table, you have a chance to make our society better. If you don’t, it’s hard to have your voice heard at all.

I mean, let FLOTUS tell you herself.


The perspectives who have access to power are the ones who shape our everyday lives, and if the perspective is limited (read: pretty much entirely white), that results in a world built for only a minority of the people who inhabit it.

Our society is stronger, better, and more inclusive for all when *all* have a voice, and that voice is respected and empowered.


Filed Under