Democrats Cry ‘Racism’ With GOP Gerrymandering, But There Is an Obvious Problem With That

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

As the redistricting season is in full effect, Democrats and others on the left are screaming about supposed racism in Republicans’ efforts to draw new district lines. They claim the GOP is attempting to dilute the influence of black and brown voters, who typically vote for Democrats. But, as usual, there is a serious problem with their incessant race-baiting.

The Washington Post noted that last time it was time for redistricting, “North Carolina Republicans redrew their legislative districts to help their party in a way that a federal court ruled illegally deprived Black voters of their right to political representation.”

A state court later struck down GOP-created maps, arguing they were drawn in a partisan manner. The author continued:

So, as the GOP-controlled legislature embarks this year on its latest round of redistricting, it has pledged not to use race or partisan data to draw the political lines. Still, the maps Republicans are proposing would tilt heavily toward their party. Several publicly released congressional maps dilute Democratic votes by splitting the state’s biggest city, Charlotte — also its largest African American population center — into three or four U.S. House districts and giving the GOP at least a 10-4 advantage in a state that Donald Trump narrowly won last year.

The report points out that North Carolina is “one of at least three states where Republicans say they are drawing maps without looking at racial and party data,” but also notes that the maps still favor Republicans.

Of course, none of this matters to Democrats, who never pass up an opportunity to push a racism narrative. Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which has filed a lawsuit against Texas Republicans over how it drew its maps, told the Post:

“I suspect they’re trying to set up a defense for litigation. Because they know the race data – they know where the Black community lives. They know where the Latino community lives.”

The issue of gerrymandering has long been a contentious topic because it allows the party that is in power to draw districts in a way that strengthens its voters while weakening the influence of the opposing party. While this is a practice that both parties participate in, the Democrats insist on pretending this is only done by Republicans and have used it to accuse the GOP of limiting minority votes.

The Supreme Court in 2019 issued a ruling prohibiting federal courts from overturning maps that were drawn on a partisan basis. However, state courts can intervene, if this were to happen.

The Post noted that “[i]f mapmakers explicitly try to weaken voters’ power based on race, they may violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law” and that “the Voting Rights Act requires them to consider race if the state has ‘racially polarized’ voting, in which white people consistently vote against candidates backed by a minority racial or ethnic group.”

The author continues, explaining that in the aforementioned scenario, those drawing the maps must “create a district in which that minority comprises a plurality or majority of voters so they can elect their preferred candidates.”

Of course, this has resulted in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for the Republicans. North Carolina state Sen. Paul Newton, who heads the state’s redistricting committee, said:

“It’s truly a conundrum and has been for the last decade for the GOP, because when we look at race, we were told we shouldn’t have, and those maps were struck down.”

He continued: “Now that we’re not looking at race, the Democrat Party is telling us, ‘Oh, you should be looking at race.’”

This situation is by design. It allows the Democrats to call Republicans racist, regardless of what they do, which further demonstrates that racism isn’t really the issue here.

The article also noted:

The Republican-controlled legislature has complete control of redistricting; its maps cannot be vetoed by its Democratic governor. A federal court in 2016 found North Carolina Republicans improperly crammed Black voters into two congressional districts to dilute African American votes elsewhere. It ordered the map redrawn. That updated map was the basis of the 2019 Supreme Court case.

Texas has also lost court cases over redistricting. But this time, they also indicated they would not be factoring race into the drawing of new districts. Texas state Sen. Joan Huffman, who drew the state’s maps, said in a Senate hearing: “I’ve stated it, and I’ll state it again – we drew these maps race blind.”

Latino civil rights groups have pointed to the reality that, despite the growth in Texas’ Latino, black, and Asian populations, the new maps don’t create majority black or Latino districts. This is the reason they filed new lawsuits last week. “The only time that communities of color can get justice is going to the courthouse,” said Democratic state Rep. Rafael Anchia, chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

Here’s the bottom line. Republicans do use gerrymandering to gain an electoral edge. However, this practice is not rooted in racial animus. If you were to ask a leftist if they think Republicans would be drawing districts in this way if the majority of blacks and Latinos voted for GOP candidates, they would not have an answer for you.

Why?

Because this practice is purely political in nature and not based on race. The fact is, most blacks and Latinos vote Democrat, and this is Republicans’ gerrymandering would impact them the most. It’s about political power, not racism.

The fact is that both parties use gerrymandering to benefit their chances for electoral victories — there is no way around that. Right now, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) is in danger of having his seat eliminated because of how state Democrats are drawing their districts. In a previous piece, I laid out how both parties use this tactic.

Unfortunately, nobody actually cares about gerrymandering – they just don’t like it when their political opposition does it. This essentially guarantees that the problem will persist. The only way to deal with it is to take off the partisan glasses that have been welded to everyone’s heads.