In a June 28 Winston-Salem Journal op-ed, guest columnist Ken Raymond called on the leadership of the North Carolina NAACP to take a second look at the new GOP redistricting plans. Raymond’s column is an insightful look at the 2011 North Carolina redistricting process.
Here are just a few quotes from Raymond’s op-ed:
“North Carolina NAACP President William Barber has expressed opposition to the GOP plan, even though it’s clearly in favor of the black community. Apparently, Barber is so used to challenging Republicans that he can’t stop criticizing them long enough to see that African-Americans will now have more representation in Raleigh.”
“And finally, I’m really looking forward to the day when race is no longer a factor in redrawing lines. The fact that so many people believe that there must be districts with African-American majorities proves that many people believe that all African-Americans think alike.”
“Drawing boundaries that ensure African-American majorities is one of the residual effects of the Jim Crow era. Many people are still sensitive to a time of institutional disenfranchisement. Therefore, any significant demographic change in the districts would certainly bring accusations of racism.”
Raymond also addresses the bind Democrats find themselves in when arguing about redistricting and the misguided defense of keeping Sen. Linda Garrou (D-Forsyth) in her current district (“The important thing is that the people are fairly represented in Raleigh, not whether incumbents keep their seats”). The entire column is certainly worth reading.