No. This one matters. A LOT.
Both political parties use gerrymandering to limit the political influence of the other party. Been like that….well, forever. It’s not pretty, and if you want to have a discussion on how there ought to be a constitutional amendment to end the practice, I’d be amenable to that discussion, and very possibly we’d find common ground.
Back to North Carolina. In the North Carolina case, the majority opinion was that the maps were drawn to intentionally disadvantage race. There was a dissent from one judge who believed that the evidence did NOT show that, and oddly, the maps had been approved by the Obama Justice Department years before, and the Obama Justice Department was not shy about suing states that they believed were in violation of the VRA.
There are two problems with ruling that the maps were drawn on race, and both of the don’t involve opinion, they involve math.
The first problem is that it’s impossible to tell from looking at a voting map if it was drawn to disadvantage black voters (illegal) or if the voting map was drawn to disadvantage Democrat voters (legal) because of the high correlation between black voters and the party they vote for (Democrats).
The second problem is that there just aren’t that many overt racists in the US anymore. As you can see from this very apropos question from the General Social Survey…..
……and putting aside for the moment the reality that Dems and Republicans have about the same number of overt racists in their number, the logical observation can be made that no more than 5% of those Republicans who participated in drawing the maps are overt racists; and if only 5% of a given group is racist, then drawing the conclusion that the maps are racist is …… quite a stretch, to say the least.
So, based on those facts, and in lieu of actual evidence to the contrary (like some emails or something proving that the legislators were actually intending to disenfranchise black voters) I’d say that it’s rather illogical to draw the conclusion that anyone drawing the maps did so with racist intent.
So, from the exchange we’ve had, I think it;s rather clear that when YOU see the North Carolina ruling, you assume racism, because…..that’s kind of what you assume. However, when I see the North Carolina ruling……I see statistics which lead me to question that conclusion.
Now, let’s dig under the covers a little farther than you did. The article that covers the SCOTUS verdict on this includes this little gem:
The contested districts were both held by black Democrats. Critics said the goal was to dilute minority voting strength outside of those two districts and
preserve the power of neighboring white Republicans.
Hm. The 2016 election used the now-invalid map, and that map generated 2 seats now held by black representatives. North Carolina has 13 representatives; so the now-invalid map therefore resulted in 15% of its congressional delegation being held by black representatives.
North Carolina is 22% African American. So, a third African American seat would result in 23% of the seats being held by black legislators, which is the desired result of the VRA.
So, oddly, the PROBLEM in North Carolina is not the two contested districts; the PROBLEM is that the other Democrat district doesn’t vote for African Americans (there is one other Democrat district in NC, held by David Price, who is white (and who has been in the House since dinosaurs roamed the earth, it seems.)
Now, if you were to argue that the NC map is too heavily biased towards Republicans, I’d have to agree with that; the NC delegation is 77% GOP, in a state that runs about 55–45 GOP.
So, that was an interesting exercise, but let’s conclude:
- Racism is a heinous accusation to make towards anyone without demonstrable proof.
- Only people of low character would accuse anyone (or a group) of being racist sans convincing evidence.
- The NC map is a gerrymandered mess, but due to the high correlation between black voting patterns and the Democrat party, it’s impossible to conclude that any map was definitively drawn to disadvantage black representation.
Have you spent any time or energy getting Republican politicians to stop passing policies that prevent people from voting?
I have not spent any time or energy getting Republican politicians to stop doing something that I do not believe they are doing, no. :-)
Hope that helps.