From this weekend's WaPo:
In a racially mixed corner of Shreveport, La., a small group of white voters protested loudly this year that they did not want to be part of a majority black district when the legislature redrew the state’s political boundaries. The Republican-led statehouse complied, drawing a line around the community to accommodate them.
This fight is now headed to court. What I liked best was this comment from a college professor who is a former member of the Shreveport City Council:
“The fact that we still have people who have these thoughts in their hearts, in their minds, and give vent to them and send them off to justify their position, it shows me that the Voting Rights Act is not just relevant but absolutely necessary,” he said.
Oh, those backward Louisiana folk. First for being racists, and second for believing stupidly that state legislative redistricting will actuallly change the character of their neighborhood.
Well, hang on a second before you cast judgment. Here in D.C., residents of the rapidly gentrifying Southwest Waterfront have been vociferously resisting efforts to draw them into Marion Barry's Ward 8. Many of their arguments about their neighborhood's identity are similar if not identical to those being used in the Louisiana dispute. In one town hall meeting, described at the link above, Ward 6 gentry liberals voiced a preference for a dilluted vote -- 0r even death, as one woman shockingly said -- over being part of Ward 8.
So how backward is Louisiana now?