Earlier this week, the North Carolina Republicans, who currently control our state’s General Assembly, pitched new congressional district maps that favor their own party and appear to threaten the reelection of at least three current Democratic U.S. House members.
No matter how you vote or where you come from, these maps are an affront to fairness and honesty.
If you feel like we’ve been here before, we have. In North Carolina, this partisan gerrymandering can feel like a tale as old as time. But it’s important to remember that we have fought this before– and we won.
The maps created this week are shameless and nothing short of a last-ditch power grab. If politicians were offering regular working-class people solid representation– if they were passing legislation that helped improve our lives– they wouldn’t have to resort to dirty tricks.
Using district maps like this– carving them up into funny shapes to get the outcomes they want- is part of a long-term strategy by some politicians to disenfranchise, primarily, Black voters. Looking at the way these maps carve up Charlotte, Greensboro, and Durham shows us that.
Hurting Black voters and diluting their vote doesn’t just hurt Black communities– it hurts all working-class people no matter their race.
The courts have repeatedly ruled that voter ID laws, felony disenfranchisement, and racial gerrymandering discriminate against Black residents. And if we keep the pressure up and make sure our outrage is known, if they rule on established precedent, they will again.
These maps split communities down to the city and town level for no other reason than it helps those in power to remain in power. That’s not democracy, that’s trickery. By splitting towns into separate districts, Republicans are seeking to dilute the power of our communities.
We believe that voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around. That’s what we were told when we took civics in high school. That’s what we are led to believe happens now. But those currently in office, greedy with power, believe they are the ones who should determine their own political future. They are cherry-picking their voters, punishing their political opponents, and harming the people of North Carolina. That’s not okay with us.
They will not succeed in diluting our power or silencing our voices. This is not the first time power-hungry politicians have created political districts that favor them in an attempt to stay in power. As we did in 2018, Down Home will work with our democracy-loving partners across the state to defeat them.