In his PBS broadcast last week, Bill Moyers showcased North Carolina as a battleground between the politics of greed symbolized by Art Pope and the vision of a moral society strengthened by our mutual ties to one another, symbolized by the Moral Monday movement. One point to clarify in the video’s important data and interviews: When UNC journalism professor Adam Hockberg describes the gerrymandered redistricting plans, he correctly points out the computerized precision mapmakers can now use to divide neighborhoods for partisan advantage, but it’s not true that they had the party identity of each voter in a house. They only had the race of people at the Census block level, not the party affiliation. So Republican mapmakers used racial identity as a surrogate for party as they zigzagged lines through precincts to segregate “Democrats” (i.e., blacks) into one district and whites/Republicans into another. This use of race in drawing districts is at the center of the challenge to the redistricting plans. Courts have said lawmakers can draw districts to favor their partisan advantage, but not by using race as the key determinant – but race is all the NC Republican mapmakers knew about the voters in hundreds of cases.
Category: Political News