This photo (or variations of it) appeared in news reports about the nation’s economic crisis yesterday and today. It shows the officials who are working to address the problem – (from left) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, President Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox.
As such, it is an accurate representation. But it also sends a different message to hundreds of thousands of Americans. Here we have four middle-aged white men in suits making decisions that will impact the nation for years to come. I have nothing against middle-aged white men; I’m one myself. But the nation is more diverse. African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and women all are part of our culture.
These four people may in fact be the best four to deal with the current situation and it would be tokenism to diversify the group just for the sake of diversity. But there are gaps in our gaps in our nation. Large segments of the population feel a disconnect with government. And items such as this only make that gap a little wider.