Twitter users have been poring over photos of a recent White House event honoring military spouses and moms, wondering why there appeared to be no male spouses and few people of color.
Wednesday’s gathering was held as President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at expanding government job opportunities for military spouses.
Photos from the event, and one posted on Ivanka Trump’s Twitter page featuring a “listening session” with military spouses last year, show an audience overwhelmingly dominated by white women. The first daughter also posted a photo featuring members of the Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club at an April luncheon where she spoke. Those spouses, too, were overwhelmingly white and female.
Racial and ethnic minority groups made up 40 percent of Defense Department active-duty military members in 2015, up from 25 percent in 1990, according to the Pew Research Center.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Melania Trump’s tweet focused on military moms at the White House event:
Tweeters took particular aim at Ivanka Trump’s photos, including the picture of the officers’ wives. Some complaints bear the hashtag #BeWhite, a play on the first lady’s new “Be Best” anti-bullying campaign.
At Wednesday’s event, Trump also boasted ― falsely ― that he was responsible for getting members of the military a pay raise for the first time in a decade. In fact, service members have gotten raises every year for more than four decades.
“Trump seems confused about military pay,” The Military Times said.