In forming a government for the people, by the people, and of the people, our Founding Fathers developed the idea a bi-cameral legislature. This Congress, composed of the House of Representatives and Senate, thus became known as the people's branch of government. American children are taught in schools that anyone can be elected to Congress, so long as they meet the qualifications of the Constitution. So long as you meet the age and residency requirements you are indeed qualified to be a candidate for Congress. .
If we take a more in-depth look at the composition of Congress we see a body disproportionate with its Nation. Congress has maintained a fairly homogenous make-up since its founding even into the year 2001. This conclusion raises no eye brows as both the executive and judicial branches of government have also maintained a very white, male, Protestant resemblance. However, Congress was formed for a distinct purpose: to represent the people of the United States of America. The melting pot of America's huddled masses has been slow in placing leaders that truly represent its demographics. .
There are a number of simple and complex reasons as to why this under-representation of minorities has occurred. Who is the real minority in Congress? This is not a simple partisan question, though it seems partisanship is a factor. An examination of the composition of the current, 107th Congress will lend greater light on where Congress stands as a representative body. A quick laundry list of the minorities in the United States being under-represented might read as such: African-Americans, Women, Black Women, Hispanics, Gays and Lesbians, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, Indians (Native Americans). All of the above groups have a unique history in struggling for greater representation. We now examine some of those histories in trying to answer why America's Congress does not look like America's people.