By Roger Caldwell
As Democrats held a sit-in at the Capitol in Florida, the Legislature approved DeSantis’ map. Governor DeSantis, map drawer, Deputy Chief of Staff Alex Kelly, did not look at partisan results, and only considered things like compactness, county and state splits and honoring roadways and waterways. The new map is “race neutral” and it did not make sense for Democrats to protest, when the Legislature was trying to conduct business.
Many Americans do not understand what gerrymandering is and how it works in the country. It is very important that when you read this article that you understand how it operates in America and specifically functions in Florida.
From the Wikipedia, “In a representative Democracy, gerrymandering is the political manipulation of electoral district boundaries with the intent of creating undue advantage for a party, group, or socio-economic class within the constituency. The manipulation may consist of ‘cracking’ (diluting the voting power or the opposing party’s supporters across many districts) or ‘packing’ (concentrating the opposing party’s voting power in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts).
The Republican Party in Florida has the majority in the House, the Senate, and in the governor’s mansion. The Democrats can protest, make statements that the process is unfair, but politics is about power. The Republicans in Florida have the power, and the Democrats have no plan to seize power in the state.
The new maps were submitted by the governor and approved by the Florida Legislature. The Democrats and other voter rights groups say they violate provisions in the state constitution, so they are going to court, to sue the state.
Greg Allen of NPR states, “Well, you know, about 10 years ago, Florida voters adopted amendments to the Constitution that now govern the redistricting process here. One of the provisions that they were – that were adopted say that lawmakers can’t draw maps that favor any incumbents or political parties. And under the new map, Republicans are likely to win 20 of 28 congressional districts. That leaves the Democrats with a good chance of winning just eight of those districts.”
Many political activists believe gerrymandering is a form of systemic racism, because the plan from the very beginning is set up for the opposing party to lose, especially if you are a minority. Congressman Al Lawson in the north and Congresswoman Val Demings’ district in Central Florida are eliminated by diluting them with more White counties.
The Florida Supreme Court also approved the new districts on May 3, 2022. Gerrymandering is alive and well in Florida, and racism is being practiced every day. Black and minority voters are being eliminated in the polls, and the Republicans are serious about winning the election. They are proud when they cheat, and they also appoint and vote in judges.
As the new map makes it harder in two districts to elect Black candidates, the Republican plan is working. It was a foregone conclusion that Republican lawmakers would approve the new maps, and Blacks and minorities would be left out.
“Another part of Florida’s constitution says that lawmakers can’t adopt maps that diminish the voting strength of minorities. And this map from the governor eliminates two voting districts established under court order to protect the ability of voters to elect Black candidates,” says Greg Allen – NPR.
Gerrymandering and racism go hand in hand, and power will stay with the Republicans for another 10 years. The Republicans are in power in Florida for the next 10 years. Can the Democrats bring about change, when the situation looks so bleak?
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