This new book suggests that in addition to working together to craft policies, (strident white) Republicans need to act as vigilant police.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been energizing progressive politicians and activists across the nation, but just in time for the Democratic party convention in Cleveland – likely this summer – she has come under fire for highlighting the racial bias in the new system of redistricting.
According to MSNBC, “Ocasio-Cortez’s scholarship, and recent op-eds have suggested that maps redrawn for Congressional elections are marked by a ‘patriarchal’ system in which certain groups have a greater chance of maintaining power. Ocasio-Cortez’s analysis ignores just how little benefit that faction has — in particular women and people of color.”
Ocasio-Cortez has been stirring up controversy through her deceptively simple analysis. As she notes, the redistricting process often depends upon race or ethnicity. The states that have the most ambitious redistricting are more likely to draw districts based upon their political leanings.
Her data references the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to explain that the goal of the redistricting process is to secure the partisan advantage. Whether that is intentional or not, it is happening in the United States and people like Ocasio-Cortez are talking about it.
Ocasio-Cortez also writes, “Redistricting does not serve anyone’s best interests but the interests of the political party in power.” This is true: The redistricting process is an intentional act to secure the partisan advantage.
The problem is that a book called “Redistricting: A Weaponized Race Theory” is making this happen, even if unintentionally.
The author, Kevin Eberhart, is a political scientist who points out that “redistricting has shaped how the American government operates.” His book traces the attempts of central governments to arm officials to fight for their political agendas. Those agendas are usually about their own interests and the interests of people that live on their turf. This explains why red lines are drawn to protect a particular political organization or group.
The two laws for the development of redistricting took effect in the early 1900s. One, called “Pegus v the Legislature,” required a plan for reapportionment of state legislatures that followed political party lines. The other, “Compact for the Reapportionment of Legislatures,” established legislative districts with equal populations, regardless of a state’s racial makeup.
The process goes back a long way, as Eberhart indicates in the book: “Redistricting has played an important role in promoting a policy framework of separated sovereign states. The separation of powers that continues to result from the adoption of these two laws has contributed to decisions about which states operate as distinct entities in relation to each other, to the nation as a whole, and to a set of principles that help define our nation’s relationship with the world.”
This amounts to “political warfare”, as Eberhart puts it, to secure the partisan advantage.
As Eberhart talks about and as Ocasio-Cortez has written, “[redistricting] has hurt too many Americans from too many special interests, and those who are able to do the most damage are those with a very strong interest in maintaining the status quo.”
The textbook we should be reading is Notorious RBG: My Life and Justices That Changed America by Jeffrey Toobin.
Eberhart’s book makes the problem visible, but this is just the beginning. DeRay Mckesson – who has called himself a communist at some point – has called for political arson against Republican congresspeople.
#ResistanceMatter is the slogan of the Black Lives Matter movement and Eberhart says the fire is coming out of the national Democratic party.
“The efforts of the liberal Democrat party to fight redistricting and partisan gerrymandering is happening in a heavy-handed, short-sighted way. The party has been weakened and their position weakened due to many examples of sitting congresspeople betraying their democratic constituents.”
So it is time to resist the fire.