Does This Photograph Show Only White Military Spouses at the White House?

A tweet suggesting White House invitations for military spouses were not diverse was based on a few inaccurate assumptions, but it was widely shared anyway.

  • Published 14 May 2018
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Claim

Image depicts a military spouses gathering at the White House, and no people of color were included.

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Origin

On 11 May 2018, political operative Ronald Klain shared an image on Twitter stating that the White House hosted military spouses on that day, but the event did not include people of color:

That same day, military-oriented outlet Task & Purpose published an editorial about the tweet, pointing out that both the date and the details of the photograph were inaccurate:

The photo was actually taken at the annual Joint Armed Forces of Washington Luncheon (JAFOWL) on April 24, not the White House. In fact, it only shows members of the Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club. I mean, you don’t have to be a clotheshorse to notice the dress Ivanka is wearing in the Klain photo matches the one she wore on April 24 and not the one she wore on May 11 … the wives in this photo chose to marry Air Force officers — 20 percent of whom identify as a racial minority, below the rate for officers across the entire U.S. armed forces — it would make sense that there might be a distinct under-representation of black and Asian military spouses, and it’s certainly a problem. But the issue isn’t that the White House only invited white women …

That article was included a 24 April 2018 Facebook post shared by Ivanka Trump:

An image was also shared by AFOSC (Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club Of Washington, DC) on 25 April 2018. A slide show of the event, which can be viewed here, indicates that the event was not quite as homogenous as it appeared in the initial, viral tweet.