State Rep. Cord Byrd of Jacksonville may be fighting a losing battle over redistricting, but he is on the right side.

Race-obsessed Democrats in the Florida Legislature are trying to perpetuate racial discrimination by drawing maps that favor voters of a certain skin color.

The House Redistricting Committee has voted to approve two maps – the second to be put in place if the courts strike down the primary map.

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One key feature of the primary map is that it retains most of Jacksonville in one district.

The second map retains features already approved by the courts. The problem is that it is unfair.

It contains a congressional district that is 200 miles long and 3 miles wide at one point. That is not compact and contiguous, as a voting map should be.

But the courts have established a race-based rule that is as unfair as the 19th century ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson, which the Supreme Court reversed eventually.

Courts make mistakes. They have in this case. Even if it could have been justified at one time it no longer can be.

What the courts seek to do is create and preserve districts populated by people with black skin.

This is to elect their own candidate, the courts have said, as if people with black skin automatically vote differently than people with other color skin.

People with black skin frequently give 90 percent of their vote to Democrat candidates, which is why Democrats pretend to care about them rather than the power they gain from the voting bloc.

But trying to justify it with the ridiculous assertion that people of the same skin color always vote for the same candidate clearly is racist, and untrue. Furthermore, they disenfranchise Republicans with black skin who live in protected districts where they are not protected.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is fighting for equality. He has produced his own map – one without “protected” districts — and says he will veto any map from the Legislature that perpetuates racial stereotypes.

“I voted against the House map,” Byrd told Eye on Jacksonville.

Another Jacksonville Republican, Rep. Jason Fischer, planned to vote no and was tossed off the committee, The reason given was laughable. They said he had a conflict of interest because he planned for run for Congress.

Fischer has not announced any plans to run for Congress and instead plans to run for property appraiser in Jacksonville. But a Republican who does plan to run for Congress was left on the committee and voted yes.

Strange games are played in Tallahassee.

Why did Byrd vote no?

 “I think it violates the U.S. Constitution. You can’t draw a district based on race unless you have a compelling state interest, which the state cannot articulate,” he said, citing the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution.

That’s exactly what a liberal Florida Supreme Court and liberal League of Women Voters did in 2015, resulting in the current congressional districts.

But Byrd noted in debate that in 2017 the Florida Supreme Court said the state could not use race to draw districts absent a compelling reason.

Unless the House and Senate can agree on a fair map and avoid a veto, the issue very well could wind up in the courts again.

But the current state Supreme Court is less liberal and there is even a chance the issue could reach the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Constitution would be given preference by the current majority. (A better chance if President Biden’s latest nominee to the court is rejected.)

What makes the argument advanced by power-hungry Democrats especially ludicrous is that while insisting upon districts with a large majority of voters with black skin, they oppose districts with a large majority of Hispanic people.

People with black skin largely have voted for Democrats, at least in the past, but the Hispanic population tends to favor Republican voters.

Republicans need to line up solidly behind the governor’s plan and vote for fairness.

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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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