Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Segregation is declining, and more bad news

First, the good news from the Christian Science Monitor:  Segregation has hit a 100 year low in most urban areas. 

"Milwaukee, Detroit, and Syracuse, N.Y., were among the most segregated, all part of areas in the Northeast and Midwest known by some demographers as the 'ghetto belt,'" according to the Associated Press. "On the other end of the scale, cities that were least likely to be segregated included Fort Myers, Fla., Honolulu, Atlanta and Miami."


It isn't that the North, which has lagged behind the South and West in integration rates, has dramatically different attitudes on race. Rather, new housing and job opportunities in the South and West have helped to spur integration there.

So perhaps we should stop worrying about racial quotas, set-asides, race-based Gerrymandering and then move toward a colorblind society? 
Naw.  Some people believe that we should continue as we are.  Not everyone sees desegregation as a good thing.  Check out this glorious paragraph, which someone actually typed with his own fingers, with no hint of irony:

Moreover, a more integrated America makes upcoming redistricting battles, especially in the growing South, more complicated. Federal courts have a civil rights mandate to protect minority voting power, which tends to help Democrats, but such court orders may become more difficult to enforce in places such as urban Atlanta, where blacks and whites increasingly live next door to one another.

Say that a state has 5 congressional districts, and this imaginary state has a 20% minority population.  The current laws demand that the state carve a racial ghetto into their district map, one that will link most of the minorities together. 
Doing this does NOT guarantee minority representation in Congress.  It merely guarantees that there will always be one racial minority Congressman who is always outvoted by four white guys who don't have to give a shit about the small number of racial minorities in their districts. 

Check out the bizarre configurations these guys are putting themselves through to guarantee that voting districts will remain tribalized:

Wouldn't it be really cool if politicians had to worry about all kinds of people in their districts, instead of concerning themselves with only one tribal group in their Gerrymandered districts?   Who do you want a Congressman to represent:  your race or your neighborhood ?