It’s no secret that the GOP isn’t exactly the most diverse party, but just exactly how white and Christian the Republican members of Congress actually are is shocking.
According to The Washington Post, Congress as a whole is 80 percent male and 80 percent white. The Senate is even less diverse, with 94 white members out of 100.
And, as Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) pointed out in an op-ed piece for The Huffington Post, “For a five-month period that ends this week, every single elected Republican in Congress was a white Christian.”
“Eric Cantor is Jewish. He left office on August 1 last year,” wrote Grayson. “Since then, the entire elected GOP caucus, in both the House and the Senate, has comprised only white Christians.”
The makeup of the Congressional Republican Caucus does not even remotely resemble the demographics of the country, which is 13 percent black, nine percent mixed race, five percent Asian, and almost a quarter of Americans don’t identify themselves as Christian.
When the new Congress was sworn in this week, the GOP added three new black members: Sen. Tim Scott (SC), Rep. Mia Love (UT), and Rep. Will Hurd (TX). “[Love and Hurd] makes three elected African-American House Republicans, up from zero. They join 43 African-American Democrats,” said Grayson.
The Republican Party also added a lone Jewish member to the House this week, Lee Zeldin (NY), who joins “27 Jewish Democrats, two Muslim Democrats, two Buddhist Democrats and one Hindu Democrat.”
Grayson makes the obvious conclusion that we’ve all known for years: “Judging by whom it elects to Congress, the GOP is now the White Christian Party.”
And of course, the GOP fights for the rights of its white Christian constituents — especially the rich ones — all while trying to erode the rights of everyone else.
Of its monochromatic membership and viewpoint, Grayson said:
“[T]hat appears to dictate the GOP position on a wide variety of important public policies: Immigration reform. Affirmative action. Voter suppression. Abortion. Even marriage equality.
Which is a shame. Because pluralism and diversity are uniquely and fundamentally American values. Those are values that should be shared by both parties, and by every party, not just by one party.”
Grayson’s words could not be truer. The direction the GOP has gone is sad and alienating. By only serving the needs of those Americans who look and think just like they do, they fail the rest of the country.
“Reach into your pocket. Take out a coin, any coin,” concludes Grayson. “On it, you will find the Latin words ‘E Pluribus Unum.’ Which means, ‘Out of many, one.’ That’s my America. That’s America.”
While that may be Grayson’s America, and Ring of Fire’s America, it’s sadly not everyone’s. And as long as rich, old, white men control the wealth and the government in this country, it’s not likely to change anytime soon.