Although still faced with discrimination, which group of Americans has made the most progress when it comes to having increased representation in political positions?A. WomenB. AsiansC....

Although still faced with discrimination, which group of Americans has made the most progress when it comes to having increased representation in political positions?
A. Women
B. Asians
C. Latinos/Hispanics
D. Native Americans
E. African Americans

Asked on by newyear

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This question looks like one that comes straight out of a book.  I would suggest that you look in the book to see what answer you are supposed to provide.  The reason is that this question can be interpreted in a number of ways.

One way to look at this is to ask which group’s numbers have gone up the most.  Since 2001, the number of women in Congress has increased from 74 to 104.  This is an increase of slightly over 40%.  In that same time, the number of African Americans in Congress has gone up about 28%, the number of Asians is 57% higher, and the number of Hispanics has risen by 68%.  If we look at this metric, we would have to conclude that the best answer is Option C because the number of Hispanics in Congress has risen by the greatest percentage since 2001.

But what if we compare the population in Congress to the population of the country as a whole?  Women are about 20% of Congress but 51% of the population.  Asians are about 2% of Congress and 4.7% of the population.  Hispanics are about 16% of the population and 6% of Congress.  Finally, African Americans make up about 8.6% of Congress and 12% of the population.  From this perspective, African Americans have made the most progress because they are closest to having their representation in Congress be equal to their presence in the population as a whole.  This would mean that Option E is the best answer.

Of course, there is nothing magic about using 2001 as our starting point.  I only used that year because that is when the data I found begins.  If we go back farther, the amount of change in each minority’s representation will probably be different.

For all these reasons, it is not possible to give a definitive answer to this question.  I strongly suggest you look in your book and/or class notes to see what answer you are expected to give.

Sources:

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