The administration seems to be having a problem with optics. Every single week, photos from the White House cause an uproar both from the media and the internet. This time, it is a picture of Trump’s controversial counselor, Kellyanne Conway. Conway was present during President Trump’s meeting with the respected heads of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) last Monday.
However, Conway made her presence known, which caused the recent uproar, by kneeling on one of the sofas of the Oval Office with her shoes. It is as if she were in her own living room watching Netflix at the same time keeping a keen eye out on the microwave for the popcorn she was preparing.
Her pose was, according to many, disrespectful because as Conway kneels and looks at her phone from time to time, everyone else in the room is standing including Trump and the leaders of the colleges and universities. Thousands of Twitter users were scrutinizing the pictures from the meeting. It seemed liked the Trump administration is not particularly welcoming, in this case, to black people but also to Jewish, Muslim, and Arab men and women.
So, Conway’s casual pose set off an outrage. This was also from the fact that Trump lacks respect or understanding for black Americans. After the outrage, thousands of jokes were made about Conway. There were also jokes about Trump and his officials on their lack of familiarity or ignorance with black people. Of course, incredibly misogynistic jokes were made about Conway posing on her knees on the couch, which we are not going to mention.
Likewise, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky references were made. Obama’s casual manner inside the Oval Office was also mentioned. Yet, it is still preposterous since there is a huge difference between a counselor and the President of the United States. Also, there is a difference between an adult counselor and children. Furthermore, conservatives actually freaked out when they saw photos of Obama casually lounging in the said office.
Ultimately, no one knows the context of Kellyanne Conway’s disrespectful couch pose except those that were with her in the meeting. It is likely that she was just asked to take a picture by one of the leaders and she thought that the best place to snap the picture is from the couch, while kneeling.
Yet, it is still strange seeing a grown woman on her knees taking a picture on what would be considered as a professional setting. Moreover, another administration official caused uproar, yet again, from a statement made regarding HBCUs.
Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, set off a ruckus on Twitter with her uninformed statement about HBCUs. According to DeVos, they are the real pioneers of school choice. She is ignorant about the history of HBCUs, which only existed because there was discrimination with black students. Not to mention, the lack of choice.
The Trump administration certainly needs to hold their tongues and think harder when dealing or working with HBCUs. Better yet, it should diversify itself to ensure fewer issues such as these arise.