Redistricting battle is a fight between Democrats

Democrats are at each other’s throats in the City Council redistricting fight, and that’s good news.

Apparently, the un-elected Democrats are willing to sacrifice one or more of the current Democrat officeholders in the hope of getting more Democrats on the council in the end.

But the convoluted scheme could backfire.

Re-rigging the district boundaries the council voted on earlier could very well result in more Republicans on the council.

The NAACP and other liberal organizations went to federal court — where else? – to complain about the districts, which were very close to the existing districts.

A judge agreed that they should be redrawn, claiming they were not compact enough to suit her interpretation of the law.

They were not more compact because the council had to string them out to connect neighborhoods where people with black skin lived in order to satisfy the federal government’s insistence upon creating “black access” districts and its prohibition against diluting such districts afterward.

This nutty, divisive idea assumes all people with black skin will vote alike. Otherwise, it means nothing. There is nothing to prevent a person with black skin from voting for whoever he prefers, no matter where he lives.

There is also nothing to keep a person with black skin from being elected. Jacksonville has had a black mayor and a black sheriff, and a black person was elected to City Council citywide as long as 50 years ago.

In the latest redrawing of maps, Democrats on the council supported the current districts.

The council member most likely to be thrown under the bus is Brenda Priestly-Jackson. Her district winds and snakes through the northwest section of the city from Trout River to the north to the county line on the south.

She is a lawyer and former member of the School Board. If the district she represents is made more compact, the number of Democrats in it may be reduced – along with her chances of re-election.

She is one of the council’s leading social justice warriors, so the decision by race-obsessed Democrats to increase her chance of losing is a bit ironic.

Plaintiffs in the case fancy that by reducing the number of Democrats with black skin in the four districts that were gerrymandered to elect black Democrats, it will raise the number of Democrats in other districts and increase the chances of more Democrats winning overall.

Although it is about political party they are framing it as being about race, which is curious because people with black skin already are over-represented on the council.

Americans of Asian ancestry are under-represented. There are actually more of them than people with black skin in Council District 3. But no one is taking up their cause by calling for a district that would elect a person of Asian ancestry.

Next week the special committee on redistricting will tackle the problem and try to devise a map that will suit the judge – if the decision is not overturned in the meantime.

It is long past time to stop worrying about the color of a politician’s skin and to worry more about the content of his character.

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.


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