Photo of Ben Carson on flight with white Trump supporters sparks mockery, ridicule

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada Caucuses
The likely win in Nevada makes it clear Sanders is the early front runner.

See all Editor's Picks

It took until this afternoon for the photo to gain traction online.

Tuesday morning, Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, tweeted photos of the Trump campaign leaving Iowa after the president’s victory in the Iowa GOP caucus. However, individuals online have started to critique Murtaugh’s group photo, specifically pointing out that Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, appears to be just one of a few people of color on the plane donning a “Keep Iowa Great” hat.


New York Times reporter Shane Goldmacher tweeted out the photo, saying, “There is a lot happening in this picture, but also only one thing happening.”


Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) tweeted out the photo, saying, “One of these things is not like the others.” McCaskill then pointed out that Carson was seemingly the only person not seated for the picture.


Others online pointed out how the photo could be negatively interpreted, especially during Black History Month and on Rosa Parks’ birthday, due to Carson being Black and mostly surrounded by white Trump supporters.


Donald Trump Jr. took aim at McCaskill’s remarks, citing “problems” with her tweet.

“1. Dr. Ben Carson did not have a seat in this pic because he was sitting in First Class with my family. 2. Dr. Carson is not a ‘thing,’ he is a world renowned, life-saving neurosurgeon,” he tweeted. 


Black Trump supporters, such as Katrina Pierson, a senior advisor to the president’s reelection campaign, pointed out there were other Black individuals on the plane and called McCaskill a “closet racist.”


McCaskill responded to criticism by saying she was just “pointing out a lack of diversity.”


On Tuesday morning Trump celebrated his victory in Iowa, taking a more explicit approach compared to the sarcasm Murtaugh used to mock the Democrats delayed results.


Allyson Waller

Allyson Waller

Allyson Waller is an editorial intern at the Daily Dot and a senior journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin. She has written for student publications the Daily Texan and ORANGE magazine. Her work has also appeared in the Texas Tribune and the Miami Herald.