Multiculturalism “is not who America is,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on his last full day at the State Department, a curious message from a diplomat whose own ancestors were immigrants from Italy, and one that ran counter to the United States’ long-held pride in being a melting pot of cultures.
In a post on Twitter, Mr. Pompeo, who has overseen a State Department where diplomats of color have been ignored, passed over or otherwise pressured to resign, also decried what he described as a sop to political correctness that he said “points in one direction — authoritarianism.”
“Wokeism, multiculturalism, all the -isms — they’re not who America is,” Mr. Pompeo wrote. “They distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about. Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker.”
The tweet infuriated American diplomats abroad and in the United States who described it as a final insult by an administration that has promoted far more white male Foreign Service Officers than women or people of color. Black and Hispanic diplomats each make up 8 percent of the Foreign Service, and Asians account for 7 percent, according to State Department data from March, the most recent available.
Mr. Pompeo’s post was particularly notable in that it came the day before Kamala Harris will be inaugurated as the first woman of color to hold the office of vice president.
Mr. Pompeo’s remarks may have been aimed at political conservatives he hopes to win over in future campaigns for office, including, possibly, a bid the presidency in 2024. It may also be a final dig at the 1619 Project, a New York Times project that reframes American history around the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans, which Mr. Pompeo has criticized repeatedly.