King’s dream remains only a dream

According to a federal judge, the racial porridge for council redistricting in Jacksonville must be suitable for Goldilocks — not too hot nor too cold, but just right.

But what is right? That’s the all-important information left out by the opinion of this jurist in a case brought by leftwing organizations.

As a result of the curious ruling, the new City Council districts will have to be redrawn before the spring elections – if the ruling is not appealed and overturned.

The whole issue makes no sense.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his whole life trying to get Americans to be color-blind and to look at a person’s character instead of his skin color.

But since King’s death Democrats seem to have repudiated his vision. Skin color is virtually all they can focus on today. Some think the fact that 90 percent of the people with black skin vote for Democrats might be a reason for the party’s concern.

After succeeding in forcing legislative bodies to collect neighborhoods in which most residents had black skin and put them into special “access” districts, liberals then began demanding that those districts become less “black.”

The entire rationale was that voters with black skin deserve to elect the candidates they want.

Candidates who wants?

All voters with black skin don’t vote for the same candidate.

There is nothing about the maps that would prevent any voter from going to the polls and voting for the candidate of his choice.

What’s next: separate elections based on the color of the voter’s skin?

The judge also opined that the maps amounted to “unnecessary racial segregation.” How she made the leap to that conclusion is unclear. And why “unnecessary?” Is there racial segregation that is necessary?

The judge also found some of the districts were not “compact,” as required by law.

Council members tried to draw districts with “communities of interest” meaning neighborhoods where people presumably have similar concerns about matters that affect their own neighborhoods.

It was, in fact, council members with black skin who fought against the idea of diminishing the number of voters with black skin in the districts they represent.

That is the exact opposite of what the plaintiffs in the lawsuit demanded.

How the city’s lawyers, who assured council members they could defend the maps, managed to lose this one is a puzzle. Especially since the new districts are not much different than they have been for a decade.

The obvious intent of the lawsuit is to force a voting map in which Democrats are a majority in as many districts as possible. That is called gerrymandering. Yet the judge inexplicably ruled that the existing maps are the result of gerrymandering.

Democrats, of course, gerrymandered voting districts for decades when they were the majority in Florida. Now that Republicans are in the majority Democrats pretend to be against gerrymandering.

The judge did not tell the City Council exactly what percentage of people with black skin must be in each district. Council members are left to guess. Anything that does not benefit the Democrat Party presumably will be ruled illegal

This lawsuit is not about race. It is about political party power.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *