Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has allegedly dismissed the topic of diversity in his department to a number of his high-ranking staffers on different occasions, sometimes putting it bluntly and stating, "I don't care about diversity," CNN reports. Zinke apparently stressed to members of his team that "what's important is having the right person for the right job" and said concern about having a diverse team is something he does not believe is "important anymore."
More than 70 percent of the 68,000 staffers who work for the Department of the Interior are white. In June, the department reassigned 33 senior executive staffers, about half of whom were minorities — a move many deemed fishy, because of the 235 senior officials in the department, about 28 percent are minorities, although 40 percent of the group who were reassigned were not white.
"If you look at the actions he's taken, they are unbalanced in regards to minorities and women," said one manager who is a minority. "If you look at the people who were moved and you look at their race or gender, it's very obvious that this is a person that does not embrace the concept of diversity."
Zinke has faced a number of scandals since taking office, including scrutiny over his travel and outcry for saying "konichiwa" to Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) after she told him about her grandparents' experience in Japanese internment camps during World War II.