Today in the middle of a titanic struggle with a piece that just didn’t seem to be going places I took the time to enjoy Jay Nordlinger’s wonderful Impromptus and I noticed this bit.
I meant to write something more than a month ago: Rejoice over Cynthia Tucker, and say a little prayer of gratitude for what she did. She is an acclaimed columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — liberal, of course. And what she did was very hard. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things to do: She changed her mind about an important issue, and said so. What’s more, the issue has to do with race. What’s more, the columnist is black.
He goes on about how we should rejoice about both her column and her reversal on racial gerrymandering.
The political landscape has been transformed since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 and amended 17 years later. The election of a black president shows that American voters are willing to look beyond a candidate’s skin color. It’s time to give up racial gerrymandering, which turned out not to be quite so benign.
How big of her, how delightful, Nordlinger rejoices saying we should welcome Tucker “coming over to our side” her late conversion not withstanding on race. He also credits her with bravery for it.
Do you think this column was easy to write? I’m sure you don’t.
You know I’m often accused (rightly) of looking at the world with rose-colored glasses and being a sucker; but this time I hate to say Jay, it is you who are being the sucker and it is my duty to bring you to reality.
I think that column was incredibly easy for Cynthia Tucker to write. I think it has nothing to do with mea culpas or soul-searching and everything to do with stopping the tide of conservatism that the liberal media has been unable to check.
Take a closer look at the column, note what her actual argument is, you will find it is less Martin Amis than Al Sharpton:
Hemming most black voters into a few districts also had a deleterious effect on surrounding areas, now “bleached” of voters whose interests tend toward equality of opportunity.
Ah so they are “Hemming most black voters” and “bleaching” voters. Never mind that all we are talking about is drawing invisible district lines, the imagery is of slave pens and segregation of black voters displaced as if they were packed up and forced to move.
Believe it or not it actually gets worse (emphasis mine):
Their absence encourages pols in districts left overwhelmingly white to use the “Southern strategy” of playing to the resentments of white voters still uncomfortable with decades of social change.
So now it’s all about White voters “uncomfortable with social change”. What change would that be? The end of Jim crow? The End of Slavery perhaps? It would seem to me that Ms. Tucker is saying to liberals something like: The GOP is playing to a bunch of crackers who are still angry about drinking from the same water fountain as a black man.. Anyone who doubts that our liberal friends (particularly ones of color) are not getting that message from that sentence has never read the comment pages of liberal sites where such belief is Gospel.
It seems to be she hasn’t thrown away the race card, she just switched from Whist to Bridge because her trump isn’t taking the hand anymore. Tucker Again:
If black voters think they have made substantial gains simply by having more black representatives in Congress, they’re wrong. They’d have more influence if they were spread through several legislative districts, forcing more candidates to court them.
That’s true, but it is equally true that if Blacks were voting even 60-40 democratic there would be a whole lot less incentive for the GOP to gerrymander their districts in this fashion. The truth is if every Black voter in Georgia woke up white tomorrow the districts would still be drawn the same way because it’s not a question of pigmentation it’s a question of voting patterns. Uniform Black voting patterns simply make it easier to identify the Democratic voters to gerrymander.
Indeed if Black voters want to increase their influence perhaps they should reconsider voting 90-10 for a party that in 40 years decimated the black family in the name of compassion, emasculated public schools (how’s that system in Atlanta working out) and ignored their positions on social issues like gay marriage.
I don’t know what Jay was reading but I think that column is self-serving. It has nothing to do about ending racial divisions, it’s about bringing liberals back from the brink that the voters sent them. Note that she constantly quotes South Carolina Democratic party Chairman Richard Harpootlian on the evils of majority minority districts. The real evil Harpootlian sees is the election of Republicans. I suspect a more honest take on his position might read like this:
My paramount object is to restore democrats to power in congress and is not for or against majority-minority districts.
If I can elect democrats by keeping majority-minority districts I would do it, If I can elect democrats to congress by abolishing majority-minority districts I would do it, and if I can elect democrats to congress by eliminating majority-minority districts in some places while keeping them in others I would do that too.
If Jay thinks that any other goal is driving Ms. Tucker on this issue, he is sadly mistaken.