The 113th Congress and the Tyranny of the Minority
colorlines.com — Eighty-one women were sworn into the House of Representatives this year and 20 women in the Senate. There are now 42 African Americans in the House and one in the Senate—Tim Scott, the first black Republican in the Senate since 1979. There are 29 Latinos in the House and three in the Senate. The Senate also has its first Buddhist and the House now has its first Hindu and its first openly bisexual woman. Which is great. Really. But let’s look at the flip side. Of the 535 voting members of the 113th Congress, 359 are still white men. In other words, white men—who comprised 34 percent of voters in the 2012 election—still occupy 67 percent of the seats in Congress. Legacies of oppression in America are still paying handsome dividends in yielding disproportionate power for white men. At best, the increase in diversity among the 113th Congress is a sign white patriarchy is now shaky in America. But it has not toppled.