The truth about racism, redistricting and gerrymandering
Is racism a factor in legislative redistricting by the states? While Democrats and the media point an accusatory finger at the Republican Party, is that legitimate?
Having been involved in the issues of redistricting at every level – including court cases – I suggest that race is not a primary consideration for GOP redistricting – even gerrymandering. Actually, not a consideration at all. In my periodic involvement in redistricting, I have never … as in never … heard a Republican discuss redistricting in racist term. It is not a consideration. The appearance of racial segregation in redistricting is coincidental at best.
(I probably should pause as the Democrats and their media allies extinguish the fire consuming their hair.)
To understand why I reject racism as a primary – or even a secondary – consideration in redistricting, you need to know the primary purpose of realigning the legislative districts. Basically, it is to give the party controlling redistricting more elected offices in the next election – regardless of the ethnicity of the voters. We do this every ten years as the census reveals population shifts.
Certainly, people criticize the partisan nature of redistricting, but it is what it is – and always will be. The party in power draws maps that benefit … the party in power. Duh! The cross criticism between the parties – depending on which has the power at the time — is mostly political hypocrisy.
One way to gain more legislative seats is to jam the other party’s voters into single districts – minimizing the other party’s voters in other districts. Or to spread the other party’s voters into multiple districts in which they are only a minority. Not a racial minority, but just a voter minority.
Because blacks have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, they are the victims of redistricting by Republicans. Not because they are black, but because they are Democrat voters. If blacks voted Republican in greater number, it would completely change the GOP’s redistricting strategy. It is all about votes – not racism.
What about Democrat redistricting? That is where an analysis gets interesting.
Is it possible that Democrats – not Republicans – are more likely to base their redistricting strategies on race and racism?
(There goes another outbreak of progressive hair fires.)
Consider this. Democrats have had a looong history of redistricting in states where they hold power – and have a large segregated black vote. Yet, they have used redistricting to confine both the black and Hispanic vote into the fewest districts possible. That has nothing to do with arranging the vote – and everything to do with limiting black and Hispanic empowerment – to retain the power for the white Democrat establishment.
Democrats in places like New York and Chicago, could easily have created concise (one border/no “islands”) and compact (no meandering all over the place) integrated districts and still prevailed on election day. So, why put all the blacks and Hispanics in one district – essentially diminishing the number of black public officials.
Look at the old 7th Congressional District in Chicago. It was designed by Democrats to concentrate the bulk of the black community into a single district … a virtually all black district. They did the same with the 4th Congressional district – a virtually all Hispanic district.
Since these districts were not necessitated based on VOTER demographics, it leaves only the racial demographics as the primary purpose. That is racism.
Whenever the ten-year census requires redrawing of political districts, there is going to be a huge battle between those with the power and those without. The arguments are always the same – and racism is one of the evergreen accusations. The same old arguments will hypocritically flip back and forth as the power side flips back and forth between parties. Those with the power will do – and those without will complain and lament. In the end, those in control will gain and those on the sideline will lose.
The complaints may seem a bit one-sided against Republicans, but that is largely due to the media bias that focuses on GOP redistricting and ignores the same activities in Democrat States. In fact, Democrats have done well in using redistricting to gain more seats in state legislatures and in Congress for the 2022 election in the states where they control the redistricting. And yes … they created districts that are not compact. They gerrymandered.
Redistricting, however, is one of many issues in which Democrats play their worn and weathered race card. That is a diversion more than a reality.
Expect Republican states to pick up seats. Not so much from redistricting, however. It is because folks are exiting Democrat states to live in more conservative Republican states. Hence, more congressional districts shift to red states.
Yes, despite all the accusations and complaining, redistricting – based on population re-distribution – 2022 is shaping up as a very good year for the GOP. Very good, indeed.
So, there ‘tis.