The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the New York City Districting Commission has resubmitted its redistricting plan for the 51 New York council districts following the 2010 census.
According to a news release, the plan creates 35 so-called minority districts in which “protected racial and language-minority groups” represent an overall majority of the total population of these districts. By comparison, the 2003 districting plan had 30 such districts.
This is blatantly racist. The Constitution—and the New York State constitution is no different in this regard—specifies one man, one vote. From the 14th Amendment of the Federal Constitution:
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State….
From Article II, Section 1, of the New York State constitution:
Every citizen shall be entitled to vote at every election for all officers elected by the people and upon all questions submitted to the vote of the people provided that such citizen is eighteen years of age or over and shall have been a resident of this state, and of the county, city, or village for thirty days next preceding an election.
There’s nothing in here that differentiates one American, or one New Yorker, from another. We’re all Americans; in the present case we’re all New Yorkers. Neither constitution admits of giving special voting privileges to some Americans over others, neither constitution contemplates the racism of “protected racial” or “protected language-minority”…groups.
Both constitutions—quite properly—insist that a man’s ability to vote is based not on the color of his skin or the thickness of his accent but on the status of his citizenship.
It’s time to stop racist gerrymandering. All of us look alike in the eyes of God, before the law, and in our right to vote.