The Homogeneity of the TrumpCare Team
Why we need better representation.
This image going around twitter struck me for two reasons:
- Donald Trump is still our President.
- I wouldn’t have noticed if the people in power all had the same face.
While the first point will continue to be striking to me for the duration of Trump’s presidency, the second point is something to think about.
Are the people in power, our president and lawmakers, really so phenotypically homogeneous that they may as well all have the same face?
The answer is apparently yes.
But this should be alarming. Trump and his administration and the majority of our lawmakers are older white males with money. As such, they have experience to represent only one small fraction of our population.
Take for instance, the TrumpCare Team:
The list includes 13 white names. These men are writing health care reform that will affect the entire country’s population, where white people make up a little over half of the population. What about everyone else? What about black and brown? What about women and trans women and trans men and the disabled? What about every other lived experience that these men cannot understand?
The TrumpCare Team cannot write for our needs because they do not have the bodies or the experiences to do so. They cannot imagine what it would be like to seek reproductive health care as a poor, brown woman because women of color are left out of the dialogue along with everybody else on the margins.
The 13 men on the TrumpCare Team only know the experience of the cis white male with money. Their lives only allow them as much, and that is not their fault. However, the fact that they are on a team that will create the laws of healthcare for everyone poses the inherent problem of representation.
The people on the margins are not represented or brought up as a part of the conversation.
And this is quite a shame.
Feminist thinker Jennifer C. Nash brings up that “marginalized subjects have an epistemic advantage, a particular perspective that scholars should consider, if not adopt, when crafting a normative version of a just society.”
The people on the margins have a point of view that is different, and that different is powerful. They have experiences that need to be considered by the people in power, especially when crafting laws such as health care.
The people on the margins need to be given several seats at the table of the Trumpcare Team. Only they can fully understand their needs, and only they can understand what would be most helpful. Furthermore, these people have a lived experience and a point of view that advantages them over the white dudes. They see the world differently and are better able to take into consideration that different needs exist. Their input would be extremely helpful in allocating resources to places and services that they understand are essential.
People on the margins can take into account that several valid narratives exist, and they need to be acknowledged. This is a particular point of view that needs to be adopted in order to begin to create a more just space. We need to start a dialogue with the people in power about who is and who isn’t being advantaged by their actions. We need people of color, women, the disabled, and everybody else on the margins to have their voices heard so that we may spread an understanding that there are way more narratives than the one the cis white man.
The TrumpCare team cannot represent us.