The Indian American

analyzes. Bhojwani cites instances of defying odds, like in Anaheim, California, where a previously undocumented Mexican American challenges the high-powered interests of the Disney Corporation to win a City Council seat. In the Midwest, a young Muslim Somali American unseats a 44- year incumbent in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Bhojwani, talking of the reli- gious diversity of America, point out that Whites are 63 percent of the country’s popula- tion, Latinx 16 percent, African Americans 13 percent, and Asian Americans 5 percent. The other 3 percent identify them- selves as mixed race or other. By the time the 2020 Census takes place, more than half of all American children will belong to a racial minority group. “Despite this increasing diversi- ty, Congress still looks like it did in the distant path: its members are 81 percent white and male, and only 7.1 percent are women of color. Although the 115th Congress is the most diverse in history, only 9.4 % of its members are African Americans, 8.5 % Latinx, and 3.3 % Asian Americans,” she notes. White men currently make up only 31 percent of the US popu- lation but hold 65 percent of the elected positions in state and local governments. Latinx and Asians are the fastest grow- ing immigrant groups but hold only 2 percent of the 500,000 state and local elected offices, she notes. “This representation gap – between who Americans are and who our leaders are – is not coincidental. Instead, it is an international product of his- tory and systemic white supremacy,” writes Bhojwani. Bhojwani points out that poli- tics is associated with a high price tag. More money is spent on campaigns than ever before, and not just on Presidential and Congressional races. From 2000 to 2016, contributions to state House races across the country nearly doubled, from $398 million in 2000, to $726 million in 2016. State Senate contributions saw the same level of growth, from $240 mil- lion in 2000, to $437 million in 2016. Then there is the viciousness of it all. Bhojwani writes about immi- grant candidates like Mexican American Raquel Castaneda- Lopez, the Council member for Detroit’s District 6, who still lives in a joint family house- hold, and grew up poor. The negative ads against her when she was up for re-election included a mailer which had a picture of her home where she lives with her sisters and broth- er, and it cited housing code 42 THE INDIAN AMERICAN OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2018