‘Optics’ keep getting in the way

UPDATE — I’ve been advised that I made a mistake regarding this picture. I wrote below that it was taken at a White House function to honor the mothers and spouses of those serving in the military. It was taken in late April at the Joint Armed Forces of Washington Luncheon. The White House did not plan this event. I offer my sincere apology and regret.


This picture showed up on social media today and, once again, we find ourselves out here in cyberworld wondering about the optics of an event involving the White House.

The message atop the picture asks a point-blank question. Anyone with any sort of discernment skills knows the answer. There is a decided absence of “women of color.”

First lady Melania Trump played host to military moms this weekend in honor of Mother’s Day. You don’t have to squint too hard to notice how, um, pale the gaggle of women appears to be.

I take nothing at all away from the service these women are performing as their sons and daughters, and their husbands, are defending the nation we all love. I wish them all nothing but the safe return of their children and spouses, many of whom likely are serving in harm’s way as we all get ready to shower the women in our lives with love, gifts and a nice meal.

But for crying out loud! Can’t we get past the questions about racial insensitivity that keep dogging the Donald J. Trump administration. The president has told us he is the “least racist person you’ll ever know.”

Really, Mr. President? How can believe that when pictures such as this one seem to suggest or imply something else.

You know what they say about “perception becoming reality.”

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