Does Obama’s Cabinet Look Like America?
January 24, 2009 by Sheryl Lee
The numbers below reflect the percentage of Arab Americans, Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans and women within the U.S. population, followed by the percentage of each group in Obama’s cabinet, based on 21 seats.
The last number is the difference in those percentages, shown as either a gain or a loss for equal representation in cabinet for that group.
Because no one has yet been appointed to take Bill Richardson’s place as Secretary of Commerce, the numbers are calculated for 2 and 3 individuals in the Latino group.
Arab Americans in U.S. population: 0.49%
1 Arab American in Obama cabinet: 4.8%
Latinos in U.S. population: 14.3%
3/2 Latinos in Obama cabinet: 15.1% / 9.5%
+/-: +0.8% / -4.8%
African Americans in U.S. population: 12.38%
3 African Americans in Obama cabinet: 14.3%
Asian Americans in U.S. population: 5.03%
2 Asian Americans in Obama cabinet: 9.5%
Women in U.S. population: 52%
5 Women in Obama cabinet: 24%
Three of the five women in cabinet are women of color:
UN Ambassador Susan Rice – African American
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson – African American
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis – Latina
Even if Obama appoints a woman as Secretary of Commerce, women will still only be 28.5% of cabinet, when we’re 52% of the population, and every other group noted has close to equal representation.
Does Obama’s Cabinet Look Like America? Only if America is 76% male.
Is it that there are not enough qualified women, or is it that once the ethnic representation is satisfied, there are simply too many white men left hanging around the lobby, expecting to take their rightful place in power?