Jim Crow Meets the ‘Reincarnated’ Elbridge Gerry

Part 2

titleshout_still jim crowing_mdah.ms.gov

by K. Adams

After too much salmon and too many fried shrimp and crab legs, the waitress brings the dessert- bourbon chocolate pecan pie.  A best seller!  A customer favorite!  A must have!   No matter how much they eaten, they split the pie in 3 equal ways and share the deliciousness with each other.

                Eboni: Who knew fifty years ago that we would be relying on the state to combat this                                      new form of segregation?

                Selina: The federal government, the Supreme Court won’t do nothing about it.

                Eboni: They say it’s political and the Court doesn’t want to involve itself.

                Selina: Political? It’s racist.

                Eboni: It’s unconstitutional.

                Melody: It’s just wrong.

                Selina: They reduced the power of our vote, and the Court dismisses as political nonsense.

                Eboni:  Now we go to the state capital rather than Washington for change because the ‘hope’ has left D.C.

               Melody: That’s not enough.  Fighting for redistricting in the state legislature, the state courthouses.  That’s not enough.  Redistricting has existed for 2 hundred years and will continue whether it’s motivated by racism or some other bias years later.  No, redistricting needs to be made irrelevant.

               Selina: Damn, someone feeling the sugar rush.

               Melody: Quit it Selina.  I’m talking about Voter-Determine Districts.  You know, each state must establish an independent commission to oversee districting.  And…and these commission must consider the totality of votes for each party throughout it.  Based on this, the commission must draw lines that reflect the percentage of votes that each party received in the prior election. 

               Eboni: Yes. I like where you are going.  Finding a way to reduce the effect of racism, but a “independent” commission.  Instead, Proportional Representation would be the fairest way to ensure we all are represented. 

Selina: Is that where you take the percentage of votes for each party and equate to seats in the legislature?

               Eboni: Absolutely.

               Selina: Whatever works? Just as long as my vote truly counts again.

               Melody grabs a “to go” box from the waitress and places what remains of her pie inside. 

               Selina: Melody honey, what are doing?  You might as well eat the rest now. You know that pie never taste as good as fresh out the oven.   

              Melody: How good it taste now won’t stop me from being hungry later though, and I’ll need something to eat then.