Majority Minority districts and gerrymandering

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September 30th, 2018 at 6:04:53 AM permalink
Pacomartin
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There were 20 black republican congressmen elected in the 30 years from 1870 to 1898, then none from 1900-1926. Finally one black Republican was elected in 1928 in Chicago (served three terms). Every congressmen elected in that district to present day has been black, but after those first three terms they have all been Democrat.

In the 32 years from 1928 to 1960 the number of black congressmen went from 1 to 4 (Chicago, Harlem, Detroit and Philadelphia). Over the next 32 years the number increased from 4 to 27 . Unhappy with the increase of less than 1 per year, the congressional districts after the 1990 census were redrawn to create a large number of majority - minority districts. The effect on the African American (AA) representation was dramatic. A total of 16 black congressmen and one Senator was elected in 1992 (still a record) and with 3 retirements and 1 promotion to Secretary of Agriculture, the AA representation in the House jumped from 27 to 39.

But the creation of so many majority - minority districts at once, made it much easier to carefully draw the other district lines to favor Republican candidates. To be fair, the Democrats were just as careful to draw district boundaries in their states (particularly Illinois and Maryland) to favor Democratic candidates.

But as we know the Republicans captured the House in 1994 after only being the majority twice from 1932 to 1992. Since then the Democrats have won the majority in 2006 with the natural tendency for midterm elections to favor the opposite party of the POTUS, and again in 2008 as Obama swept a number of Democratic candidates into the House.

Since 1994 politics has become slightly more broad minded with black Republicans being elected, and in a handful of cases where people felt free to elect a Representative that was not among their ethnic or racial background. Mia Love, representing Utah's 4th district, is possibly the most extreme example of someone who is of a very different ethnic background than the people she represents.

Demographics of Utah's 4th district
83.7% White
1.67% Black
2.99% Asian
16.45% Hispanic
0.76% Native American
7.17% other


In some cases the representative from the minority majority districts are almost unassailable. In Los Angeles the first California black congressmen was elected in 1962 and served until he retired at age 85 and was replaced with Maxine Waters in 1992. Ms Waters is now age 80 and is showing no interest in retiring.
1962 Augustus F. Hawkins
1990 Maxine Waters

John Conyers from Western Detroit was first elected in 1964, and did not resign until December 5, 2017, because of mounting sexual scandals.

The question is , should the Democrats sacrifice some of their majority-minority districts after the 2020 census, if it gives them a better overall distribution to increase the probability of winning a majority? In other words could they accept a mathematical formula that is insensitive to race or ethnicity?
September 30th, 2018 at 6:23:26 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin

The question is , should the Democrats sacrifice some of their majority-minority districts after the 2020 census, if it gives them a better overall distribution to increase the probability of winning a majority? In other words could they accept a mathematical formula that is insensitive to race or ethnicity?


With their current messaging they cannot afford to do so. Pre-1960s the Democrat Party was the "workingman's party." Even by the 1960s, the US was getting less and less industrial. More Whites were moving more and more upper class. The Democrats could no longer count on the FDR Coalition for easy victory. They moved to a formula of try to capture almost all of the Black Vote, which would get them 10%, and accept the lose of a hunk of the White Vote, but keep enough to be competitive.

Over the years as demographics changed the plan just expanded to change "Black" to "non-White." It remains to be seen how well Hispanics block-vote. So far it looks like they will follow the pattern of Whites more than Blacks. This is why the left keeps up the "Trump Hates Mexicans!" line going, if the Hispanic vote follows the pattern of Whites, they are done for a generation.

Now, say the Maxine Waters and Hank Johnsons of the world lose their seat. There will be hell to pay from the race-industrial complex. The Democrat Party will not want to deal with that.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
September 30th, 2018 at 7:14:25 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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AA majority, #4, #13, #5, in greater Atlanta and #2 in Southwest.





Quote: AZDuffman
Now, say the Hank Johnsons of the world lose their seat. There will be hell to pay from the race-industrial complex. The Democrat Party will not want to deal with that.


I have never heard the term race-industrial complex. I assume that is a take off from "military-industrial complex".

Hank Johnson, George 4th, is perhaps a good example. Georgia has 14 districts. Four of them are majority African american, and they all have black congressmen, and they are the only four districts represented by Democrats.

An independent analysis of Georgia's district formula says it is designed to maximize minority-majority districts (4 districts). An ideally Republican Gerrymander would break up district #2 and have only 3 likely Democratic wins. An ideally Democrat Gerrymandered map would make it possible for Democrats to win up to 8 of 14 districts.

If Democrats were to accept a mathematical formula that is independent of race, so that there were no minority majority districts, there may be more Democratic wins, but possibly not as many African American congressmen.
September 30th, 2018 at 8:12:22 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin
I have never heard the term race-industrial complex. I assume that is a take off from "military-industrial complex".


Yes. From the NAACP to the mafia-style shakedowns of Jackson/Sharpton to anyone who has a job with the word "Diversity" in the job title, it is all productive monies redirected to people who make their living hustling racism as a problem in society.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
September 30th, 2018 at 8:27:32 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 850
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Quote: AZDuffman
Yes. ... who make their living hustling racism as a problem in society.


But speaking from a strictly self serving point of view, surely it is more important for the Democrats to maintain control of the House, than to maximize their number of African American congressmen? In the 1992 and 1994 elections they gained 12 additional Democratic AA congressmen and lost 63 seats overall and the majority of the House.


New - Year - Total African Americans in House
0 1960 4 (Chicago, Harlem, Detroit and Philadelphia)
1 1962 5
1 1964 6
0 1966 6
4 1968 10
4 1970 13
4 1972 16
1 1974 17
0 1976 17
5 1978 17
4 1980 19
4 1982 21
1 1984 21
4 1986 23
2 1988 24
6 1990 27
16 1992 39 <----------------redistricting to favor minority majority districts
6 1994 39
September 30th, 2018 at 3:59:00 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 110
Posts: 8630
Quote: Pacomartin
But speaking from a strictly self serving point of view, surely it is more important for the Democrats to maintain control of the House, than to maximize their number of African American congressmen? In the 1992 and 1994 elections they gained 12 additional Democratic AA congressmen and lost 63 seats overall and the majority of the House.


Well, we seem to be in the midst of a generational shift in voting patterns. Democrats now capture the top and bottom of the ladder (at least the top on the coasts) and the GOP is taking both the geographic middle of the USA as well as becoming the party of the skilled blue-collar worker.

Meanwhile, the far left of the Democrat Party is doing all it can to turn off working people in their quest for "social justice."

MM is now the last war.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
September 30th, 2018 at 8:04:20 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 850
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Quote: AZDuffman
MM is now the last war.


Well, the intelligent Democrats new there would be a downside to this redistricting. Printing a NY Times article written just before the election has the following quote from John Lewis who was first elected to Congress in 1986. Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat who was a hero of the civil rights movement in the 1960's, warns that this change may help Republicans by weakening the coalition of Southern blacks and progressive whites that elected many Democrats over the last two decades.

In fact the Democrats would lose the majority in the House in two short years.

From 1990 Congress went from 19 to 27 African American congressmen per election anyway (8 in a decade) . The 27 includes two representatives (D.C. and Virgin Islands). Even by 1990 there was already 8 African American congressmen who represented districts that were not majority African American.

By fast forwarding the process so that the count would go up by 12 in one election they seem to have undermined their own party.

Quote: THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Congressional Districts; Redistricting Expected to Bring Surge in Minority Lawmakers

By ROBERT PEAR August 3, 1992, Page 14 The New York Times Archives

When Congress strengthened the Voting Rights Act in 1982, lawmakers wanted to make sure that minorities would have a greater voice in governing the country.

Ten years later, the fruits of that effort can be seen in the new Congressional districts being drawn to comply with the 1982 law. The number of districts with black and Hispanic majorities has nearly doubled, insuring a sharp increase in the number of black and Hispanic lawmakers in the 103d Congress, to be elected in November.

"It will make a tremendous difference," said Representative Donald M. Payne, a Democrat from Newark, who is black. "With additional members, the Congressional Black Caucus will be more effective. We will hold the balance on some crucial votes, just like the conservative Southern Democrats who sided with Republicans in the early years of the Reagan Administration."

The number of Congressional districts with black majorities will rise to 32 from the current 17, while those with Hispanic majorities will nearly double, to 19, from the 10 created after the 1980 census. The House now has 25 black and 10 Hispanic members.
Alabama and Florida, among other states, are all but certain to send their first blacks to Congress since Reconstruction, because all or virtually all the candidates in the new black-majority districts are black. Virginia and South Carolina are expected to elect their first black Congressmen since the late 19th century. Every state in the old Confederacy except Arkansas will have a majority-black district and is likely to have at least one black member of Congress.

Some white Democrats, like Representatives Robin Tallon of South Carolina and Claude Harris of Alabama, have chosen to retire, finding themselves in districts with black majorities. And some of the new districts have reduced the black population in predominantly white districts, a result welcomed by Republicans and lamented by Democrats.

Districts with black or Hispanic majorities do not invariably elect black or Hispanic lawmakers, although the exceptions are rare. In Brooklyn, Representative Stephen J. Solarz, a white Democrat, is fighting to hold his seat in a district redrawn to create a Hispanic majority. In Houston last month the Republican and Democratic nominations in a new Hispanic-majority district were won by non-Hispanic candidates, one black and one white.

Even with the new minority districts, black and Hispanic lawmakers will make up smaller percentages in Congress than the black and Hispanic percentages in the general population. In the 1990 census the population was 12.1 percent black and 9 percent Hispanic; black-majority districts constitute 7.4 percent of all Congressional districts, Hispanic-majority districts 4.4 percent.

But the experience of legislatures in Southern states has shown that blacks' influence is often greater than their numbers suggest after they reach a certain threshold.

"When they get over 10 percent of the membership, that puts them in a very influential position to wheel and deal and form coalitions to get their bills passed," said Frank R. Parker, director of the voting rights project at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He estimated that black and Hispanic lawmakers would make up 14 percent of the representatives in the new Congress, as against 8 percent now.

Mr. Payne, the Newark Congressman, said that the Congressional Black Caucus, for example, could use its enhanced influence to insist that approval of American aid to Russia be contingent on an increase in Federal aid to America's cities. Racial Gerrymandering

The new districts, which will shape the nation's political geography for at least a decade, are based on data from the 1990 census. They show, for the first time, the effects of the 1982 voting rights law. That law has been read as requiring states to create districts with black and Hispanic majorities wherever possible.

One result is the construction of gerrymandered districts that link up scattered black precincts; among states with such strangely shaped districts are North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Another result is to reduce the black population in mostly white districts. Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat who was a hero of the civil rights movement in the 1960's, warns that this change may help Republicans by weakening the coalition of Southern blacks and progressive whites that elected many Democrats over the last two decades.

But Benjamin L. Ginsberg, general counsel of the Republican National Committee, said the new Congressional districts were "much fairer to Republicans, blacks and Hispanics" than those drawn in the 1970's and 80's. He said the 1982 law ended "the Democrats' shameful practice of slicing, dicing and fracturing racial minority communities in order to prop up white incumbents of the Democratic Party."

Some civil rights advocates say their ultimate goal is to move beyond racial and ethnic gerrymandering.

"The goal of the struggle for the right to vote was to create an interracial democracy in America," Mr. Lewis said. "It was not to create separate enclaves or townships. The Voting Rights Act should lead to a climate in which people of color will have an opportunity to represent not only African-Americans, but also Hispanic-Americans and all Americans."
October 1st, 2018 at 2:40:06 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin


By fast forwarding the process so that the count would go up by 12 in one election they seem to have undermined their own party.


Of course they did. They made a sort of minor league where Blacks do not have to compete with everyone, just each other. The same thing happens with college affirmative action programs. Unqualified Blacks get in and might even get pushed to graduation. But then they go into the real world where people care about results over skin color and they fail.

It has ghettoized congress. CBC does not even want conservative Blacks as members.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
October 1st, 2018 at 3:48:08 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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I get the feeling that the first four Minority Majority districts formed out of the natural demographics of the area
1928 Illinois's 1st - Chicago
1944 New York's 22nd - Harlem
1954 Michigan's 13th - Detroit
1956 Pennsylvania's 4th -Philadelphia

The fifth one was created deliberately after the 1960 census around Watts, and JFK endorsed Hawkins for the district.

Gus. Hawkins won that district in 1962 at the age of 55. He would end up living past the age of 100, and his successor, Maxine Waters, still is in congress today. Perhaps since Adam Clayton Powell from Harlem was the most famous black congressman, Hawkins declared himself to be the diametric opposite in personality.

The leadership belongs not to the loudest, not to those who beat the drums or blow the trumpets, but to those who day in and day out, in all seasons, work for the practical realization of a better world—those who have the stamina to persist and remain dedicated.

He was in favor of "clearer thinking and fewer exhibitionists in the civil rights movement.”


Gus Hawkins actually resembled his British grandfather. As he was born in 1907, many people who looked like him might have tried to pass as white.



The fundamental idea of a minority majority district is very sound. Certainly the riots of 1968 would have been worse if there was no black congressional representation.

I guess that the systematic gerrymandering of large numbers of those districts in 1990, seems to have won a little battle and lost a big one.
October 1st, 2018 at 4:48:10 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 110
Posts: 8630
Quote: Pacomartin


The fundamental idea of a minority majority district is very sound. Certainly the riots of 1968 would have been worse if there was no black congressional representation.


It is sound on one level but bad on another level. All we are doing is creating Black "homelands" like they used to have in South Africa, albeit in a gentler form. These places become a "safe space" for Blacks, but it is still a ghetto. Behavior that would never play in a "normal" place abounds. Nobody tell them, "hey, walking around with your pants falling off and speaking ebonics is not going to play in this world!" Instead, "culture" is defended.

Which brings us back to the racism-industrial complex. The Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world cannot have Blacks mainstreaming, getting skills and getting good jobs. They would no longer be needed. They need a Black underclass for their being, to keep the complex going.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
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