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Most Diverse Congress Sworn In

The 113th Congress is the most diverse in history—and it's not just about race and gender.

The newly sworn-in 113th Congress marks a historic milestone—it's the most diverse in history. A record number of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and women now hold seats among the 535 Senate and House of Representatives members. And the diversity goes beyond race/ethnicity and gender. Congress is:


  • 8 percent Black: a total of 43
  • 6 percent Latino: a total of 32
  • 5.6 percent Asian: a total of 30
  • 18.9 percent women: a total of 101. Read facts about the congresswomen.
  • Four Arab Americans and one Caribbean American were also elected to Congress

Diversity in religion and sexual orientation also increased: The first Buddhist senator, Senator Mazie Hirondo; the first Hindu representative, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard; the only Unitarian Universalist, Congresswoman Ami Bera; the first openly gay senator, Senator Tammy Baldwin; the first nonwhite LGBT, Congressman Mark Takano; and the first openly bisexual woman and only atheist, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, were also sworn in.

Among the new faces of the 113th Congress are: 4 Blacks, 10 Latinos, 6 Asians, 5 LGBTs and 24 women. Plus, four of the incoming congressional representatives are of the Millennial generation, born in the 1980s.

Changing Diversity: What Will Election 2016 Look Like?

Will this diverse mindset continue to make its way into the upper echelon of the political parties?

Although diversity made significant headway in the recent election, the overwhelming majority of congressional representatives (80 percent) are white and male. In the House, for example, there are 42 Blacks, 35 Latinos, 11 Asians and 2 American Indians, according to House Press Gallery, but together that accounts for only about one-fifth of all representatives. Moreover, the House has 81 women, which is 18.6 percent of the total number of representatives, but the United States is 50.8 percent women.

But that's poised to change in the next election. Anticipated diverse candidates on the Democratic side for the 2016 presidential race include three women: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Elizabeth Warren. The GOP's rising stars include three women: Senator Kelly Ayotte, Governor Nikki Haley and Governor Susana Martinez; three Latinos: Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Brian Sandoval and Martinez; and two Asians: Governor Bobby Jindal and Haley.

The 2012 election results show that voters, particularly Millennials, are more than ready for a change and are looking for leadership that more accurately reflects the country's increasingly diverse population.

Non-Hispanic white populations will decrease drastically by the year 2050, according to Census Bureau data, from 71.6 percent to 46.3 percent, and Latino populations will increase significantly from 11.3 percent to 30.3 percent. Asian populations will grow to 6.3 percent from 4.4 percent, and Black populations will tick up from 12.8 percent to 12.9 percent. More than half (50.4 percent) of babies born in the United States in 2011 were Black, Latino or Asian, per the Census Bureau.

Additionally, Pew Research reports that Asians are the fastest growing demographic, growing 43.3 percent between 2000 and 2010. Comparatively, the Latino population grew 43 percent, and the Black population grew 12.3 percent. The white population grew 5.7 percent during the same period.

Millennials are the most racially and ethnically diverse demographic in history, per Pew Research: 18.5 percent are Latino; 14.2 percent are Black; 4.3 percent are Asian; 3.2 percent are mixed race or other. Only 59.8 percent are white, the lowest percentage to date. In the 2012 election, 60 percent of individuals ages 18-29—which totals 19 percent of all voters—cast ballots for Obama. And just as new and youthful mindsets about diversity helped win this past election, it's this more-inclusive generation of Millennials that will continue to be a driving force in deciding the outcomes of future elections.

 

The Conversation

Obama to Trump: We're Supposed to Stand up to Discrimination and to Nazi Sympathizers

To voters: You can make sure that white nationalists don't feel empowered to march in Charlottesville in the middle of the day.

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Former President Barack Obama kicked off his campaigning for November's midterms, on Friday afternoon, and took jabs at President Trump and the spineless backbones of his Republican constituents.

Obama spared no expense rebuking the administration's actions that have emboldened racists.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders Admits to False Statement on Obama and Black Employment

Trump's administration, again, attempts to downplay the accomplishments of the first Black president.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted Tuesday evening on Twitter that she gave false information when attempting to tout President Trump's record on job creation for Black Americans.

Sanders told reporters, Tuesday, during a White House press briefing:

"This president, since he took office, created 700,000 new jobs for African-Americans. After eight years of President Obama in office, he only created 195,000 jobs for African-Americans. President Trump, in his first year and a half, has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years."

She greatly undercounted the number of jobs created under Obama.

According to the official count from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the Great Recession, most of the employment gains for Black people took place during the Obama administration.

From January 2009 to January 2017, Obama increased employment for Black Americans by about 3 million jobs.

"Sanders' error dramatically alters the comparison between the two presidents," according to PolitiFact.

"Rather than Trump tripling Obama's increase in African-American employment, it is actually Obama who in eight years quadrupled the increase Trump oversaw in a year and a half. And Obama had to deal with the fall-out from the Great Recession during that period."

After the backlash from Sanders' statement, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said in a tweet: "Apologies for @WhiteHouseCEA's earlier miscommunication to @PressSec."

Sanders then re-tweeted the CEA, adding her own message:

Florida Shooter Who Killed Black Man in Parking Lot Has History of Gun Threats

Michael Drejka's "Stand Your Ground" defense in the shooting of Markeis McGlockton buckles.

Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted, according to jurors on the basis of Florida's Stand Your Ground law. It seems the same law will not work in shooter Michael Drejka's favor.

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Rookie Cops Call Latino Man 'Fake American,' Brutally Beat Him and Get Arrested

Videos proved the officers lied about the series of events.

John Galman and Spencer Sutton, two officers in the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), were arrested after an off-duty fight with a Latino man that sent him to the hospital. The department has also begun termination proceedings as the two lied about what happened.

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Maxine Waters' Office Evacuated Due to 'Anne Thrax' Package

Amid recent death threats against the congresswoman, a package suspected to contain Anthrax wasn't taken lightly.

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Someone noticed a suspicious package sent to Rep. Maxine Waters' (D-Calif.) district office in South Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon addressed to "Anne Thrax." As Waters has recently received death threats, the authorities were contacted.

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If You Want Alexa to Respond, Sound Like a White Person from California

AI products like Amazon's Alexa and Google Home discriminate against minorities with accents.

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A study done recently by two research groups, Globalme and Pulse Labs, and the Washington Post revealed that certain artificial intelligence (AI) technology only works for people who resemble the demographic of its creators and testers.

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Congressional hopeful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivered a response to a Republican Congressman who wasn't quite sure of "whatever she is."

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Hospitals, Doctors Can Sue Patients For Giving Negative Reviews: How This Affects Black Patients

Mounting research finds that Blacks are treated worse in the healthcare system but doctors and hospitals can sue patients for giving negative reviews. How does that work?

Photo by Dana Sacchetti IAEA

A patient entered a plea deal to end charges after a negative online review violated his civil stalking protection order.

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