Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Featured Opinion

Opinion | Let’s hope the kids aren’t watching this redistricting process

Fairness and equal rights apparently play no role in the redistricting process, as far as Republicans are concerned.


Does fairness not matter anymore? 

I’m wondering because I watched most of today’s reapportionment committee hearing, and I heard much of the discussion and the excuses and the thinly-veiled attempts to mask unfairness among some of the Republicans on the committee. And I can’t help but wonder how some of these people justify their actions and their words to either themselves or, God forbid, their offspring who look to them for guidance in this world. 

Because let’s make no mistake about it – the current congressional map being used by Alabama is unfair. We all know it’s unfair. To pretend otherwise is a childish game that no one takes seriously. 

Even the current U.S. Supreme Court looked at Alabama’s maps and said it was clearly discriminatory towards Black voters. And it ordered the state to produce a map in which two districts provided a majority-minority voting population or something very close to it. 

The Supreme Court, along with every federal court along the way, said Alabama’s maps needed to be redrawn because they specifically diluted the voting power of Black Alabamians. 

And it did so purposefully. 

It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. Alabama has a voting population that is 27 percent Black, but it had just one of seven congressional districts in which Black voters held enough voting power to affect the outcome of an election. 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The Supreme Court ordered state lawmakers to fix that by creating a second district in which Black voters held a majority or “something very close to it.” 

After receiving a number of proposed maps, including a very good map drawn by the plaintiffs in the case that started all of this, Alabama Republicans sat down on Monday and selected a map that had one majority Black district. 

If you’re scoring at home, that’s the same number of majority-minority districts as the current map that the Supreme Court told the state to fix. 

I know we’re bad at math in this state, but we literally just had to add 1 plus 1 in this case. And somehow we still ended up with 1.  

The “communities of interest” map chosen by the Republicans is a ridiculous choice. The second supposed minority district in that map – District 2 – has a Black voting-age population of only 42 percent. 

There’s not a soul who walked through that committee room door on Monday who actually believes this map will be accepted by the federal court. They all know it will be rejected. And that’s the plan. 

To have the court reject their map and allow a special master appointed by the federal court to simply draw a proper map for the state. And once again, in the pages of history, Alabama will be forced by a federal court to do the right thing. 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Because our lawmakers are completely and utterly incapable of doing so. 

Which brings me back to my original question: When did some people just start pretending that fairness is a pollyannish idea that doesn’t really apply if you’re trying to win some elections? 

There isn’t a debate about what’s going on in this situation. Alabama Republican lawmakers tried to pack Black voters into a single district in order to create a map that allowed for just one majority-minority district. They did so despite the census figures telling them that such a move would be obviously unfair. They did so despite knowing full well that such a map would disenfranchise thousands of citizens, stripping them of the one thing that means the most in our representative democracy. 

And even when told by a very, very conservative court that the maps were unfair, these same Republican lawmakers, instead of correcting their bad maps, have chosen instead to put forth a map that they know will be rejected. A map they know is still obviously unfair. A map that still disenfranchises Black voters.  

Now, that must mean that they believe that an overwhelming number of Alabama voters will be supportive of this. That Alabama voters want them to be unfair. That Alabama voters, at best, don’t care whether our voting maps are fair for all voters, and at worst, are supportive of maps that disenfranchise Black voters. 

Is that true? 

Do you really not care? Have you really been pushed so far over the partisan edge that you’re actively rooting for 1950’s-era discrimination at the voting booth? 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Let’s keep in mind here that even if the most favorable of all maps for Black voters is selected, it will likely mean that a politician favored by Black voters – in all likelihood a Democrat – will take a second congressional seat, out of seven, in this state. Republicans will still hold five seats. And will still be in complete control of the Statehouse and all statewide offices. 

But it doesn’t matter. Even with all of that power and control, they’re bending every rule and refusing to right wrongs. They’re going to fight to the very end to do the wrong thing. 

I hope the kids aren’t watching.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

More from APR

Featured Opinion

The national embarrassment of the state on Tuesday was truly something to behold.


“It has been a long and frustrating battle holding the Alabama legislature accountable, but today it is a rewarding one,” the plaintiffs said.


The first of the three maps hues closely to the plaintiffs' remedial plan and would give Black Alabamians a majority in a second district.


"We are one step closer to having fair congressional maps in the state of Alabama," Sewell said.