Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Monday, May 16, 2011

District Map Attempts to Cuts Us Out

The Star-Telegram editorial, “Seeing flaws in Texas Senate remap is not the same as proving them”, recognizes that the proposed redistricting map for Senate District 10 is “just plain wrong”. Carving out a chunk of minority communities in southeast Fort Worth, Forest Hill, and Everman, and then merging them into a predominately Anglo voting district some 80 miles south of the county is a terrible usurpation of our voting power. Over 80,000 votes would be diluted, and we would essentially be disenfranchised.

And, if that is not “shameless” enough, as Senator Wendy Davis calls it, the plan would also strip out the Hispanic north side neighborhood in Fort Worth and give it to Anglo-dominated SD 12, now occupied by a Republican based in Flower Mound.

The S-T article goes on to say: “Anyone who watched the 2003 redistricting drama directed by then-U.S. House Majority Leader and now convicted felon Tom DeLay knows the people who do this sort of thing are both smart and crafty.

That it violates the Voting Rights Act, Texas has done it before and gotten away with it. They simply say prove it if you can. According to them: “Davis will have to show that minority groups in her district are large and geographically compact, that they are politically cohesive and vote as a bloc, and that Anglos vote in a bloc in numbers high enough that they usually defeat minorities… Having only been elected in District 10 once, a narrow victory amid heavy turnout for Democrat Barack Obama's presidential bid, she has no history there to fall back on.”

The article further states that “Her case will have to analyze Fort Worth elections over an extended period of time, examining any racially polarized voting. It will hurt if minority voter turnout is low, which it is. It will be a problem for her if any differences between minority and Anglo voting patterns can be explained away by party affiliation, because that doesn't represent racial or ethnic discrimination.”

Bob Ray Sanders, in his own S-T editorial “Senate redistricting plan demands Justice Department review”, sees the effort as not-so-subtle Jim Crow gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering? No such thing. To let Congressman Michael C. Burgess tell how he inherited his narrow, dumbbell-shaped strip an our historical black community, and stretching it from the Oklahoma border to Waco: "It is the miracle of redistricting”... not to mention a convenient way to silence the black political voice.

So goes Texas. But not without scrutiny from the Justice Department, seeing that Texas is still one of those southern states that must receive preclearance from the Department. It depends on whose at the helms of Justice, and whether the state of Texas can skate through again.

It gets ridiculously redundant, like bad behavior that can find no remorse. No doubt, they will nitpick the law for subtle technicalities and loopholes, such as those above which put the burden of proof upon the shoulders of Senator Davis.

What they willfully ignore is the “totality of circumstances”.

Totality of Circumstances

No one will mention that the current senator district puts all our Fort Worth schools under one representative. The proposed plan would scatter our schools among three different state senators.

No one will mention that as soon as the U.S. Census projects us to become a minority-majority political bloc, they cut us up into slivers and drag our voting boundaries across many counties until we are completely diluted. Silver by sliver, tract by tract, they take away what we rightfully gain in population growth.

According to 2010 U.S. Census, SD 10 has a total of 52.4% minorities, making it a minority-majority district. But based on voter age population (VAP), for Civil Rights purposes, we are only 47.3% majority. Not that the trend shows where we are headed, they want to nip us in the gonads before our young reaches voting age.

Can they continue to cut us up, sliver by sliver, every time we show some growth towards becoming a minority-majority voting bloc? How can we have a future when Pharaoh kill the babies before a Moses arises and deliver them from oppression?

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