2020 census is in, and states are dividing up the political spoils.
California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and
West Virginia will lose a Congressional seat. Colorado, Florida,
North Carolina, Montana, and Oregon are gaining a single seat, while
Texas increases its Congressional delegation by two.
initial results loom large for expanding the political power of
Blacks along with that of Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and
Indigenous Americans. These population groups were the linchpins in
the election of Joe Biden to the presidency in 2020. The key
question now is: what will Blacks do with these opportunities?
American population growth has been significant in Colorado, Florida,
North Carolina, and Texas and could be an important factor in state
legislative and U.S. Congressional races in 2022. Sadly, it will
have less impact in the redistricting process which has already begun
and accounts for Republican control of 30 state legislatures, whereas
Democrats hold power in just 18, a little more than half the
Republican number, with two legislatures split between the two.
U.S. Court of Appeals Judge James A. Wynn, in a stinging 191-page
opinion overturning the redistricting map drawn up by Republicans in
North Carolina in 2018, ruled that they were
by invidious partisan intent”
in drawing districts to disempower Blacks with “surgical
This was the first time a federal
court blocked a Congressional map because the judges believed it to
advocates of voting fairness have cited and reinforced this finding,
including former President Barack Obama during his eulogy for late
Congressman John Lewis at his Atlanta funeral in Atlanta on July 30,
2020. Judge Wynn’s assessment has resonated throughout the
voting rights community as Republican minority voter suppression
efforts are becoming more apparent and escalating.
in 47 states
have introduced bills
aimed at restricting minority citizens’ ballot access,
according to a new calculation by the Brennan Center for Justice.
Republicans are laser-focused on these tactics as they view them as
their only way to keep and gain power in states and a nation that is
rapidly losing its majority White status.
shows the ongoing political organizing adjustments made by
conservative White Republicans and their minions. They plan to lock
in a political infrastructure much like the White-ruled
South Africa Nationalist Party did in 1948 until it ended in the
early 1990s in a series of steps that led to the formation of a
democratic government in 1994.
country's harsh, institutionalized system of racial segregation and
subjugation of a Black population, nearly ten times the size of the
White population, was successful as a result of its rigid political
machinations and its alliances for mutual geopolitical benefit with
several western nations, including the United States. It took some
time and many in-country protests before these nations renounced
South Africa and Apartheid.
South Africans, led by Nelson Mandela, organized and kept up the
fight until they broke this insidious system. African Americans and
other U.S. minority groups are now living under conditions that are
moving in an Apartheid-like direction in terms of poverty, growing
income inequality, and crafty disenfranchisement.
forestall this approaching reality, Blacks must systematically
organize as their brothers and sisters did in Georgia in the years
leading up to the 2020 presidential and statewide elections.
Although the first African American female candidate for governor
(and the first in the nation), Stacey Abrams, narrowly lost her bid
for the office, her 10-year effort in building the New Georgia
Project (NGP), a voter registration mission to add the fast-growing
ethnic minority groups to the voting rolls, brought her fame.
and her cohorts in the NGP, along with Fair Fight, another
voting rights organization she founded in the wake of her losing
campaign for governor in 2018, played a significant role in turning
Georgia blue in 2020, delivering the state’s electoral votes to
Joe Biden and sending Georgia’s first Democratic Black and
Jewish senators to Congress.
need to replicate such initiatives by organizing minority voters in
every state where their numbers are swelling. By pursuing this
agenda, they will change the makeup of state legislatures and elect
more people of color to office and/or meaningfully influence those
Whites who are already there. These are the roads to real political
the meantime, their White counterparts are already in the field
identifying minority candidates to pit against each other so a White
candidate can shoot the breach, or they are working to elect a
pliable minority candidate. They have employed the latter strategy
in Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah to put Black
Republicans in office, and more plans for such schemes are currently
being developed in tandem with Republican voter suppression policies.
political skullduggery persists. For example, in 2018, the
Republicans hatched a plan to rig the election and came close to
seat in eastern North Carolina.
a day after the Minneapolis, Minnesota jury rendered the Derek
Chauvin guilty verdicts in the George Floyd murder case, Andrew Brown
was shot in the back of the head, while allegedly fleeing Sheriff’s
deputies who were serving him an arrest warrant in the same area of
North Carolina. And during this period, police officers killed six
other Blacks across the country in suspicious circumstances. These
situations, as horrific as they are, also present occasions for
African American political mobilization.
must organize to take advantage of this political moment. Otherwise,
they will be on a slow roll toward political and social Apartheid.