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Thu Oct 21, 2021, 04:59 PM

What is gerrymandering and why does a democracy allow it to be used to protect white power?



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The Editorial Board's legal historian @QueenMab87 asks: What is gerrymandering and why does a democracy allow it to be used to protect white power?

What is gerrymandering and why does a democracy allow it to be used to protect white power?
A legal history of congressional district map-making.
editorialboard.com
1:43 PM · Oct 21, 2021


https://www.editorialboard.com/what-is-gerrymandering-and-why-does-a-democracy-allow-it-to-be-used-to-protect-white-power/

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https://archive.md/V1Fns

Maps are being redrawn all over the country in response to last year’s census. Unfortunately, the process currently leaves a lot of room for partisan gerrymandering. It is the first time since the passage of the Voting Rights Act that district maps will be drawn without the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act for many states.

A 2019 Supreme Court case also makes it impossible to bring gerrymander cases to federal courts on the basis of partisanship. Luckily some states have passed redistricting reforms since the last census. Others have divided legislatures where partisan abuse is less likely. But there are states that will attempt to draw maps in blatantly partisan ways, particularly to protect Republican political power.

The practice of manipulating voting districts for political power — ie, gerrymandering — wasn’t invented in the US but it’s hard to say we didn’t perfect it. In 18th-century Britain, districts called “rotten boroughs” were drawn with few voters to ensure certain representatives were elected to Parliament. Gerrymandered districts have existed since the inception of US congressional districts, but initially the districts were still drawn in relatively normal ways.

The term “gerrymander” was coined after an 1812 Massachusetts state senate district map was drawn and signed into law by then Governor Elbridge Gerry. The map drew a long thin district that sliced up Essex County, which usually voted for the Federalist Party, in order to help the Democratic-Republicans. As a result, a county that had elected five Federalist representatives elected three Democratic-Republicans and only two Federalists. Federalists won over 1,500 more votes statewide but elected only 11 representatives while Democratic-Republicans elected 29. Ultimately, the extreme district map caused a backlash and Federalists soon regained power and redrew the district map.

*snip*


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Reply What is gerrymandering and why does a democracy allow it to be used to protect white power? (Original post)
Nevilledog Oct 2021 OP
Goonch Oct 2021 #1
marybourg Oct 2021 #2
brooklynite Oct 2021 #5
marybourg Oct 2021 #9
leftstreet Oct 2021 #3
BeckyDem Oct 2021 #4
Caliman73 Oct 2021 #6
BeckyDem Oct 2021 #7
Caliman73 Oct 2021 #8
BeckyDem Oct 2021 #10
Zeitghost Oct 2021 #11
joetheman Oct 2021 #12

Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 05:06 PM

1. ;-{)🖖‍

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 05:54 PM

2. The district was said to have looked like a

salaMANDER

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Response to marybourg (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 06:08 PM

5. ...but had nothing to do with protecting white power...

...All governing Parties have applied gerrymanders at different times to maintain their political strength. In political machine cities, they were used to protect black (and other ethnic group) power in their local jurisdictions.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 08:00 PM

9. I was just pointing out where the "mander" part

of “gerrymander” came from.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 05:56 PM

3. Because our overlords really don't want peons voting n/t

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 06:01 PM

4. Why? Because the legacy of slavery is still attractive to more than enough Americans.

K&R

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Response to BeckyDem (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 06:13 PM

6. Actually, while slavery was seen as "bad", the idea of White Supremacy was held both South and North

The Civil War was about slavery, and while there were certainly many abolitionists who truly believed in the inherent equality of "all God's creatures", most people, North and South still believed that Black people were not equal to White. Even though the North fought to end slavery and bring the South to heel, they were not really fighting to end White Supremacy.

Many of the worst race riots in American History were in supposed "Free States". Racism and White Supremacy is an AMERICAN thing, not a Southern thing. We all need to realize that before we can truly address this national stain.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 06:18 PM

7. White supremacy is the legacy of slavery.

I would never argue white supremacy is a southern thing.

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Response to BeckyDem (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 07:06 PM

8. Chicken and egg... right?

Except that White Supremacy pre dates the chattel slavery of the Atlantic Slave trade. The whole concept of "Race" and "Whiteness" was created to justify the dehumanization of African people to take them into bondage. White Supremacy allowed the enslavement of African people.

Slavery existed before the concept of race, but it was typically associated with warfare between neighboring groups. There was supremacy too, but it was "Greek Supremacy" or Spartan supremacy, or Athenian, Roman, Mongol, Chinese, etc... supremacy. There was not a concept of racial superiority until "White people" wanted to take Africans out of Africa to make them slaves on the sugar and cotton plantations of the new world. The Portuguese were the first to push the concept and the Dutch were the first to make the trade lucrative, bringing the first slaves from Africa to the Americas. Columbus took "savage" Taino people from the new world to Europe, but the trade never really got going in that direction.

White Supremacy is the underlying evil from which slavery was justified. Native Americans were considered "Almost White" by none other than Thomas Jefferson. He thought that Natives just needed some culture to become fully White. That is, until the colonists/Americans wanted the land which the natives inhabited, then they became Savage Red Men, and were justified for extermination.

If you look back at historical cartoons, you will see Natives, Mexicans, Filipinos, and others drawn in a Black African or Native caricature, It was the not to subtle way of communicating the racial inferiority of those people which justified taking of land or subjugation. It is easier to enslave and subjugate people, or steal their land if they are inferior and sub human.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 08:52 PM

10. How does any of that change what you initially responded to?

Which was, Why? Because the legacy of slavery is still attractive to more than enough Americans.


Are you suggesting the origins, whatever you believe them to be, do not remain today? Although white people are protesting like never before alongside black people, whites are still reluctant to push for policies that will extend equality...as in housing areas etc.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Thu Oct 21, 2021, 10:02 PM

11. Both parties do it

Do a simple calculation of the percentage of total votes cast by party and compare to the percentage of seats won in the House. Republicans currently hold a +2 edge compared to what a proportionally representative D-R split would be. In the last Congress it was a single seat and both those small margins can largely be explained by single district states that have fewer voters in their district. California pushes seats to the Dems, Texas to the Republicans, etc. and it more or less washes out in the end on a national level.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Fri Oct 22, 2021, 12:44 AM

12. Whites make the rules...so gerrymandering.

 

If others play by the rules and win, the rules are changed to new rules. Rinse, repeat, rinse repeat. It's goes by other names too, like white power, fascism, privilege, elitism, anti-democracy. spoils to the victor, etc.

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